Drew Brees on lack of extension: 'Doesn't affect my approach'

Brees focused on the season, not contract (0:54)

Drew Brees discusses how he will concentrate on the Saints' upcoming season and what his plans are for getting a new contract. (0:54)

NEW ORLEANS -- Drew Brees said he's "not stressing" over the fact that he and the New Orleans Saints haven't discussed a long-term contract extension in about two months.

But Brees did say Wednesday night that he would love to get a deal done before the season starts, or else he will wait until after the season to resume talks.

"I don't like to talk about contract during the season," Brees said while participating in teammate Tim Lelito's charity softball game at Tulane's Turchin Stadium. "If you go back to 2011, where it began to drag into the season, three weeks in I was like, 'I don't want to deal with it anymore, I want to focus on football, I want to focus on the season.' ... That'll be my approach again.

"So there's a deal to be done now, and then if it doesn't get done now, then there will be a different deal to get done at the end of the year."

Brees, 37, is heading into the final year of his five-year, $100 million contract. At the time it was signed, Brees' contract was the richest in the NFL, but it has since been passed up 10 times, including twice by the Baltimore Ravens' Joe Flacco.

Brees said it was "not even a consideration" to hold out of OTA practice sessions, which began Tuesday. And he doesn't plan to miss any offseason activities, whether a deal gets done or not.

"Whether I'm locked up for five years or whether I just have a one-year deal, it's still the same mindset for me," Brees said. "And that is that I'm playing year to year in regards to what I have to prove. Is there maybe security on paper? A little bit, yeah. But it doesn't affect my approach or my preparation or anything."

Brees has continued to insist, however, that he "would love a long-term deal to get done, something that would lock me up for the rest of my career."

"I plan on playing for a few more years, and obviously, I expect them to be here," Brees said.

Coach Sean Payton said Brees compartmentalizes "extremely well," so he's not worried about his lingering contract talks being a distraction.

"He's someone that's extremely focused. He's been sharp here these three days," Payton said. "I would say it's been a strength of his just with regards to playing, the ability to focus whatever situation we're in. And certainly this is no different."

When asked why talks stalled, Brees said, "I don't know if it's about stalling." He explained that the offseason kind of goes through "phases," including free agency and the draft. But then he added, "I don't know, I'm not sure."

Brees has nailed the most likely explanation on the head several times this offseason, saying there is no real deadline in place, and deadlines usually lead to deals like this getting done.

Saints general manager Mickey Loomis and Brees' power agent, Tom Condon, played chicken right up until the final days of a franchise-tag deadline back in 2012 before Brees signed his previous deal.

Chances are, Brees and Condon are seeking for him to once again become the highest-paid quarterback in NFL history because Brees is up next in the rotation, just like Flacco was earlier this offseason when he set the bar at $22.13 million per year.

Just how much higher Brees' contract goes is the critical question.

Condon has pointed out that QB salaries have been sky-rocketing along with the NFL's salary cap in recent years, with players such as Brock Osweiler and Sam Bradford getting deals in the range of $18 million per year.

As for what's happening with the Saints on the field, Brees said it is "still very much a learning phase" just two days into OTAs, and that it always takes time to develop a rhythm with new pass catchers such as free-agent tight end Coby Fleener and rookie receiver Michael Thomas. But he said he has been pleased so far and has been "impressed" by the hustle and approach Thomas is showing early.

And as for what happened on the softball diamond, Brees was admittedly "kind of upset" when he wasn't able to reclaim his home run derby title from long snapper and repeat winner Justin Drescher. Brees' seven homers fell shy of Drescher's 12.

"I probably should've gotten in the cage a little bit before I got out here," said Brees, who bats lefty and wears No. 9 like his childhood favorite Ted Williams. "But I feel like I should just be able to pick the bat up and hit whatever I want, wherever I want on this field."