Where in the world is Drew Brees?

As expected, the New Orleans Saints opened their offseason program without quarterback Drew Brees.

I’m sure the fact he is carrying the franchise tag, hasn’t signed his tender and wants a long-term contract is part of the reason Brees didn’t show at the team’s Metairie facility. We’ve known that was coming since Friday, when it was reported that Brees wasn’t planning to attend.

But there’s a bit of a twist to this story. Even if Brees had signed a new contract weeks or months ago, he still might not have joined his teammates Monday. Brees reportedly is in New York at the NFL’s offices. Brees, former New Orleans linebacker Scott Fujita and NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith reportedly are meeting with league officials. NFLPA president Dominique Foxworth and union legal representatives also reportedly are in attendance.

Brees and Fujita are members of the NFLPA’s executive committee. Presumably, the meeting is related to the league’s investigation of player involvement in a bounty program. The NFL already has issued a $500,000 fine, stripped the Saints of two draft picks and suspended coach Sean Payton (for a full season), general manager Mickey Loomis (for the first eight games of the season) and assistant head coach Joe Vitt (for the first six games of the 2012 season).

The league has said 22 to 27 players were involved in the bounty program and has said fines and suspensions are possible. But no official announcement on player discipline has been made.