Drew Brees grievance hearing set for later this month

So much for those reports that a contract for Drew Brees was imminent and would be done days ago – by Monday – right?

Now, the New Orleans Saints quarterback has a date set for his grievance against the club. According to Steve Wyche of NFL.com, Brees will argue June 27 before arbitrator Stephen Burbank that if the Saints choose to place the franchise tag on him again in 2013, that he should receive a raise of 144 percent – not the standard 120 percent.

Brees has the franchise tag right now as the sides have been unable to get a deal done. He stands to earn $16.4 million with the tag this season. The potential difference for 2013? You’re looking at a total of $19.7 million or $23.6 million. The difference is significant because it would shape the tone of negotiations for a long-term contract, which is precisely what Brees is gunning for in this case.

As Wyche explains, Brees has now received the franchise tag twice – once with the San Diego Chargers in 2005 and now this time. The NFLPA contends that because 2013 would be the third time he has been tagged (although only two times with the Saints) that he would be due the larger raise.

Either way, the Saints and Brees have until 4 p.m. on July 16 to hammer out a multi-year deal. Otherwise, he will be playing under the tag this season whether 2013 means a potential 120 percent raise or a 144 percent raise. Stay tuned.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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