Drew Brees Contract Issues A Major Distraction for Saints

 @http://twitter.com/jtalty on June 15 2012 9:02 AM
Drew Brees
Brees runs the league’s the most explosive offense in the NFL. He has the record for most passing yards in a season and has thrown for at least 4,300 yards in all of his six seasons with the Saints. He led the Saints to a Super Bowl title in 2010. Reuters

The New Orleans Saints have had their hands full this offseason.

Whether it be dealing with suspensions of personnel, or losing potential draft picks, the Saints can't be too thrilled with the way things have turned out.

To throw even more fuel to the flame, the communication between team captain Drew Brees and the organization has not been productive.

After putting up monstrous numbers last season, which included passing for 5,476 yards, a statistic that broke Dan Marino's single season passing record, Brees is seeking a contract that pays the same or more than top quarterbacks Tom Brady and Peyton Manning.

This will get done, Brees told reporters. It will get done with both parties getting together and getting this thing done. They are both working hard at it.

Since mini-camp began in New Orleans, the familiar face of Brees has not been seen, allowing interim head coach Joe Vitt, to move quarterback Chase Daniel to the first-string offense.

Daniel, who only has eight career passing attempts, is said to be making tremendous gains, and is progressing every day of camp.

The ball is not on the ground, head coach Vitt said Tuesday. He's operating within the system and parameters. I think his ball location is getting better and better every practice. He opened up our team period today with a 40-yard strike.

According to ESPN, Drew Brees is seeking a long-term deal that pays out around $20.3 million a year.The discussion about the guaranteed money, however, has become lost in translation.

I feel for him. He wants to be here right now. I want him to be here right now and we'll work hard to get that accomplished, general manager Mickey Loomis said. It's important to Drew, but it's important to our team. The magnitude of this contract is going to impact our team for a long period of time, so we've got to get it right.

It's got to be right for Drew, but it's got to be right for our team as well.

Although this situation has become a major distraction for the team, the coaches, along with the players, have returned to practice in a business-like fashion, and understand that the show must go on, regardless of the actors.

What's our other option?'' said safety Malcolm Jenkins. It's business as usual. We've got to accomplish a lot this time of year, no matter what, so that's all we can do.

The Saints expect negotiations with Brees to be completed before the franchise tender deadline on July 16, and anticipate that he will be ready to go for the start of training camp.

Nobody is going to come in better shape than Drew, head coach Vitt said earlier this week. Drew is working extremely hard right now. He's mastered the system.  His contract will get done with both parties getting together... They are both working hard at it.

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