Saints, Brees both need to get a deal done by Monday

Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints remain locked in negotiations that seemingly have been going on forever.

According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, the Saints will use their franchise tag on Brees if they do not have a deal in place by Monday afternoon. That would buy them more time to hammer out the long-term contract but make the team’s plans for the rest of the offseason more difficult.

As Mike Triplett points out, the franchise tag will only take up about $14 million in cap room and a long-term deal could average $18 million per season – or more.

The catch here is if the Saints are forced to use the tag on Brees, it will be more difficult for them to keep some other key players. The Saints know this and Brees knows this. So, you would think a deal would get done before time runs out on Monday. That way the club can turn its attention to guard Carl Nicks, who could then be franchised tagged, or wide receiver Marques Colston and cornerback Tracy Porter, other key players headed for unrestricted free agency.

Brees has repeatedly used the word “optimistic” in describing negotiations. The guess here is something is done before the weekend is over.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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