The relationship between Drew Brees and the city of New Orleans has been nothing short of magical, but the star quarterback has yet to warm up to the idea of signing the exclusive franchise tag placed on him by the Saints.
"I've played under the franchise tag before, back in 2005, and that ended with 13 anchors in my right shoulder and a 25 percent chance of playing football again," Brees told ESPN's "Mike and Mike in the Morning" on Wednesday, via ProFootbalTalk.com.
"That didn't work out too well for me. I've talked to the Saints about this many times. They definitely know my desire to have a long-term deal, and hopefully they want me to have that as well. We will continue discussions and hopefully get a long-term deal done."
Brees, of course, is referencing the career-threatening shoulder injury he suffered in 2005 as a member of the San Diego Chargers. That injury required complicated surgery and placed Brees' playing future into question. It's a level of uncertainty he's not excited to revisit.
"I'd say that this is a very critical period here over the next short while until we start April 16th," Brees told The Associated Press on Wednesday. "What I'm really focused on is continuing to negotiate toward a long-term deal and I really am not going to look too far down the road other than just what's right in front of me. I want to make sure that this is done the right way."
Brees watched as the Saints locked up his primary target, receiver Marques Colston, to a five-year, $40 million deal on Tuesday, with just under $20 million guaranteed. Colston choosing to stay with New Orleans might encourage Brees to stick around, but the four-time Pro Bowl pick and Super Bowl MVP isn't budging from his hopes for a long-term agreement.
Brees wants to end his NFL career in the city he's given so much to, but refused to answer if he would practice or play if a new extension can't be hammered out by the start of the season.
"I won't give an answer other than that was never my intent when I entered into these discussions with the Saints," Brees told The AP. "It was to extend the deal and to sign long term and finish my career in New Orleans. ... That's what I'm working wholeheartedly toward and that's really all I can say."