We’d be deprived of terrific narrative creation opportunities and chances to speculate wildly if reports regarding contract negotiations were always correct. We also wouldn’t have nearly as many excuses to fire off death threats, which is a mouth breathing pastime.

Thankfully, that’s a post-apocalyptic world that will never be, and while most reports during the fluid process of high profile contract negotiations are horse shoes tossed close to the mark, few clang off the peg until the very end. So thanks for giving us something to do around here, Drew Brees.

Last night we passed along the lastest report on the gap between Brees and the Saints during their lengthy pilgrimage to a long-term deal before the July 16 deadline for franchised players to sign long-term deals. Many hairs have been lost during this epic journey, but the gap between the two sides that wasn’t much of a gap at all may be even less gap-y.

Past reports have indicated that the Saints are offering about $18 million annually over a five-year deal, while Brees is seeking anywhere between $20-23 million per year, depending on which scribe you’d like to believe during any given hour. During this hour, we’re going with Mike Florio, because we’re feeling chipper this morning, and we’re fans of good karma. We also want to be friends with the natives of New Orleans, because we hear they’re very nice people who know how to party, and they usually hang around for a good time, not a long time.

Yesterday ESPN’s Ed Werder pegged the gap between Brees and the Saints at about $2 million, but Florio had even had better news late last night.

Brees, we’re told, has never asked for $21 million.  And the Saints are believed to be offering more than $18 million, possibly closer to $19 million than $18 million.

A book I’m currently reading has made me feel significantly worse about my intelligence given me the gift of deductive reasoning, and the floor and ceiling numbers provided by Florio leave the gap–a word that’s now used quite loosely regarding Brees–at about $1 million.

Yesterday I wrote that even while a difference of the $2 million estimated by Werder may seem absurdly small in the world of professional sports where rich men make other men very rich, the Saints have to draw a line somewhere. They can’t predict with confidence what a 38-year-old Brees will look like if he plays through the life of this five-year deal.

But if the gap has shrunk to be as excruciatingly close as Florio claims, then the time to be stubborn is over, and the time for compromise is now.

Brees is a veteran and an elite player, so there’s every reason to be confident in his ability to produce without attending offseason workouts. But at the height of a tumultuous offseason due to bountygate and the resulting suspensions, the Saints need a firm veteran anchor during these few days in June that are available to prepare before training camp, which is a much more fast-paced environment. New additions need to be eased into a new offense, and a scattered coaching staff needs a full unit.

The Saints need Brees, and they need him now, so $1 million should be a meager sacrifice.

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