Drew Brees optimistic about contract

In a conference call with the New Orleans media Friday, Saints quarterback Drew Brees said he’d be “beyond stunned" if he doesn’t re-sign with the team.

I think New Orleans fans and Saints officials all would be beyond stunned if Brees, who can become an unrestricted free agent, somehow ends up with another team. It’s beyond comprehension that the best and most popular player in franchise history would be allowed to walk while he’s still in his prime.

I think everyone directly involved in the situation realizes this deal needs to get worked out.

"Now here we are at the end of the season and it's time to pick up discussions again, obviously once we all get a chance to step away and decompress and let this season kind of settle," Brees said. "But I've had conversations with (Saints General Manager) Mickey Loomis and my agent and at some point very soon we're going continue to talk and hopefully we will get a deal done very soon.

"Really the sooner the better. I would even say that between now and free agency (in March) I'd really like to have something done. Obviously there's a lot that goes into it. It's not as easy as maybe some people think it is. I just think there's a lot of factors, variables, things to consider. The fact is we're all very confident that a deal will get done sooner than later."

Brees is right that it’s complicated. As I pointed out a couple days ago, he’s likely to get a deal that averages somewhere around $18 million a year. When you talk about a contract like that, you’re talking about something that will have salary-cap implications on the entire roster.

The Saints have some other key potential free agents, such as guard Carl Nicks and receiver Marques Colston. Brees doesn’t want his deal to break up a team that’s been very good through most of his tenure.

"My No. 1 priority, and it always has been this, is keeping our team together and making sure we have the right guys in the right positions to make a run at this for a long time," Brees said. "Now, obviously my job is not head coach and my job is not general manager. I feel like we've got two very capable individuals in those positions. But I think we all kind of work together on this thing.''