Drew Brees isn't going anywhere

The New Orleans Saints and Drew Brees have not found the common ground needed to get a contract done.

So, the Saints did Saturday what they had hoped to avoid – they placed the exclusive rights franchise tag on the quarterback, a move that will make it difficult for the team to retain All-Pro guard Carl Nicks.

Brees has long said he was optimistic a contract would be done in timely manner, but Jay Glazer of Fox Sports said this afternoon that Brees would be tagged. That prevents him from exiting via free agency but also ties up the club with other key free agents to consider like wide receiver Marques Colston and cornerback Tracy Porter.

Brees could receive as much as $16 million this season playing under the tag, but that’s far short of the guaranteed money he would get in a multi-year deal. In fact, he was certainly hoping to average close to $20 million per season in a long-term contract.

Now, the Saints will have to consider potential fallout from the explosive bounty story that broke Friday while also trying to plot their next move in free agency.

Follow me on Twitter: @BradBiggs

Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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