New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees expressed frustration and disappointment with a lack of progress in talks toward a long-term contract during a Wednesday afternoon interview with WWL-AM in New Orleans.
"It's extremely frustrating for me, but here we are," Brees said. "I know I'm certainly committed to getting a long-term deal, as I have been throughout this entire process."
Given Brees' importance to the Saints offense, his role in the New Orleans community, and how experienced his agent Tom Condon is at negotiating quarterback contracts, it's surprising that Brees remains without a deal.
The Saints placed an "exclusive" franchise tag on Brees, which prevents him from negotiating with other clubs, at a cost of $16.371 million in base salary for the upcoming season.
Brees said he "didn't want to think about" signing the franchise tender without a new contract, and few would blame him. After playing out the 2005 season under a franchise tag with the San Diego Chargers, Brees tore the labrum in his throwing shoulder in the regular-season finale, hurting his value on the free-agent market.
Brees took another risk when he played out the 2011 season without a long-term deal in place. He said in Wednesday's radio interview that he'd like to see the team take a more urgent approach, according to Mike Triplett of The Times-Picayune.
"I chose to take a lot of risks in that as well, but I didn't want anything to get in the way of us having a successful season as we possibly can," Brees said. "I don't regret that decision, but this is the first offseason I felt like we had a lot of time to get it hammered out.
"I would say, more than anything, I guess, what's been a little frustrating on my end or disappointing is the lack of communication," Brees said.
"I would just say there should be a sense of urgency and yet it seems like there's not," he added.