I can’t believe I’m even writing a story about this topic. Here it is, a couple of weeks before training camp opens for the New Orleans Saints, and the team still has not come to terms with franchise quarterback Drew Brees. The fact the Saints won’t give Brees a long-term deal is tragic in my eyes. I guess we shouldn’t be too surprised about this when you consider the rough off-season the Saints have gone through. We all know the Saints won’t have head coach Sean Payton and starting middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma, among others, due to the suspensions handed down by the NFL due to their participation in the alleged bounty scandal that has rocked this franchise. We also heard about Saints GM Mickey Loomis, who was suspended eight games for his role in the bounty scandal, also come under fire for alleged wire-tapping against opposing teams back in 2004. There were even reports about the FBI getting involved in this matter (don’t know if they will). If there was ever a team that needed some good news going into training camp, it would be the Saints. The way to get that good news is to take care of your franchise QB. It has been reported that Brees will not report to training camp if he doesn’t have a long-term deal by Monday. There is absolutely no reason why Brees shouldn’t have a contract by now. I understand you have to do what you have to do as a franchise to protect the best interests of the team, but Brees is the best interest of the team at this point and he should be rewarded for all the good he has done since he joined the Saints, along with Payton, before the start of the 2006-’07 season. The Saints did take a chance on Brees back at that time, since Brees was coming off of shoulder surgery. But Brees has done more than make this a risk well taken. Since Brees has been the Saints’ quarterback, he has led the team to a Super Bowl title, has been the face of a franchise that has been known for bad football, and shattered Dan Marino’s single-season passing record (among other achievements). The Marino record was one of those records that wasn’t supposed to be broken. Brees shattered that record by a few hundred yards. I just don’t understand why the Saints won’t give a guy who is partly responsible for saving this franchise a deal. Keep in mind this was a franchise that was in danger of leaving the city of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina wrecked the city and the Gulf Coast region. The team only had one playoff win in their franchise history before Brees got there. It’s an absolute crime Brees doesn’t have a long term deal this close to the start of training camp. The last thing you want is more turmoil if you’re the Saints. Unfortunately, it appears this is where the Saints are headed. It could be a tough season upcoming for the Saints. I think this is a 5 win team without Brees (yes, I feel Brees is that good). This deal needs to get done and it should’ve been done months ago. It makes you wonder what the Saints are thinking. Whatever they’re thinking, it needs to change. If not, more tough times for this team will lie ahead.

By Charles Taylor

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