- Pat Yasinskas, ESPN Staff Writer
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For months, New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees had been saying he was optimistic and confident a long-term contract with the Saints would be worked out.
Brees changed his tune a bit in an interview with New Orleans’ WWL Radio.
"What's been a little frustrating on my end, or disappointing, is the lack of communication," Brees said. "We've reached out on quite a few occasions and at times I know I've been frustrated with the lack of response."
Brees raised the possibility of missing the team’s upcoming minicamp (June 5-7). The Saints placed the exclusive-rights franchise tag on Brees, but the quarterback continues to say he wants a long-term deal and won’t sign his $16 million tender.
"There should be a sense of urgency and it just seems like there's not," Brees said.
It seems like a bit of finger pointing has started. There have been some reports saying Brees wants as much as $23 million per season. Brees said reports of his asking price have not been accurate.
There are two sides to every story, but the potential for this one to get truly ugly continues to grow with each day that Brees doesn’t have a long-term deal. The deadline for franchise players to work out long-term deals is July 16.
Brees had emerged as the most popular player in franchise history in recent years and was applauded for his work on and off the field. But the drawn-out contract situation has caused a bit of a divide among New Orleans fans. Some have accused Brees of being greedy. Others say the team simply should open its checkbook, give Brees whatever he wants and get the quarterback back with his teammates immediately.
Here’s your chance to weigh in on that. Cast your vote in the accompanying SportsNation poll and fill up the comments section below with your thoughts on whether Brees or the Saints are more to blame for the contract stalemate.
2hEric D. Williams