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Brees holds cards in contract talks with reeling Saints

It wasn't so long ago that Drew Brees' contract situation looked like the New Orleans Saints' biggest problem. For one day, it's an afterthought.

That won't last long.

Brees remains unsigned weeks after the Saints placed the franchise tag on him. In interviews, he hasn't sounded like someone willing to sign that tag. Now, Saints coach Sean Payton is going to miss the entire offseason because of the NFL's "bounty" suspension. If Brees is out of action, too, what do the Saints really have left?

Before the league's sanctions came down, we'd argue the Saints had quite a bit of leverage in this negotiation. But the leverage game has changed. Brees and his agent can turn the screws on the Saints. The organization needs Brees now more than Brees needs the Saints.

The sky is falling in New Orleans, but general manager Mickey Loomis and Brees have a chance to stabilize matters.

This is the Saints' chance to give their beleaguered fans some good news. They could use it.

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