Well hello there, and welcome to your daily Drew Brees update. Or more accurately, the daily attempt to test the limits of your rumor tolerance, and see how many revolutions per minute your head is capable of while sitting in a stationary position.
My rumor tolerance is still quite low after the endless burning hot stove of free agency a few months back, and with the rampant and loosely-sourced hearsay of the draft still not too far in the rear view mirror. Having my testicles chewed by fire ants is starting to sound far more appealing than sifting through more reports of possible signings, but here we are.
Over the last two days the gap between Brees and the Saints during their ongoing negotiations has continued to dwindle, according reports that may be heaping loads of nothing. On Tuesday the divide was about $2 million, and then yesterday we learned that the gap may not be much of a gap at all, and it might be more in the neighborhood of just $1 million.
That’s loose change for NFL teams, so it’s widely anticipated that the inevitable deal that appears imminent may actually be immediate. As in now. Right now. Present tense.
Here’s the part where we crank up the speculation with…more speculation. This time, though, it’s through the best kind of reports: conflicting reports.
In our first corner we have Kristian Garic, a sideline reporter for WWL in New Orleans. Garic said a deal is so close that it could be done “as early as Friday morning…or at the latest by Monday.” Garic’s net is a large one cast strategically and widely so that if a deal is either immediate (like tomorrow, in less than 24 hours) or done by Monday (not immediate, and far more than 24 hours) he can claim victory regardless.
More strategic wording…
“The two sides have really closed the gap, and it may be just minor details at this point.”
“Contract negotiations like this, the slightest snag can put you back at square one…these things are very fragile, but I feel good about the information I’ve learned.”
He told you there could be a snag. See, you’ve been warned, so if there’s a hold up then Garic’s one-to-four day forecast is immediately nullified. Convenient.
Then there’s PFT’s Mike Florio, who sees through the wording from the likes of Garic, and says he would be rather startled if Brees signs a long-term agreement by Monday.
Per multiple sources with knowledge of the negotiations, a deal isn’t “very close.” Could something happen in the next few days to break a logjam that has existed for months? Possibly, but highly unlikely. (There’s an example of the safe-harbor language. Still, if a deal is done by Monday, I will be flabbergasted, shocked, and perplexed.)
I’ll be surprised if there’s a contract in place by tomorrow or over the weekend too, and that shock is connected purely to human nature.
Players are people (whoa), and the franchises that employ them are owned and operated by highly intelligent businessmen, but they’re also people. Humans are motivated by deadlines, a phenomenon of our basic psyche that was showcased a year ago at this time during the lockout. Last June the bickering was still at its peak, and there was legitimate concern that we’d lose meaningful football. In the end as the deadline to save the season loomed, the motivation to compromise was heightened and a deal was reached, with only the Hall of Fame Game lost.
The concept is the same here. While it’s always possible that Brees could sign a long-term deal as I type these very words (see what I did there? consider my ass covered), the far more likely scenario is that a case of deadline motivation settles in, and the two sides finally make their miniscule compromise far closer to the July 16 deadline to sign long-term contracts.