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Brees hopeful of striking deal to stay a Saint beyond 2011

Pro Bowl quarterback Drew Brees, who has one year remaining on his contract with the New Orleans Saints, said Tuesday that he would like to sign an extension to remain with the team beyond the 2011 season, according to *The Times-Picayune*.

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"I think every player's always looking for an extension, aren't they? That goes for you guys, too," Brees told a group of reporters. "I've got one year left (on his current contract). And discussions have been ongoing. So we'll see how it plays out."

It would be a shock if Brees and the Saints didn't reach an agreement, something The Times-Picayune reported both sides have made clear they want. There are at least a couple of factors that could complicate such a deal -- the uncertain labor situation (the collective bargaining agreement expires March 4) and the 27 other Saints players likely to become unrestricted free agents.

Brees signed a six-year, $60 million deal with the Saints as an unrestricted free agent in 2006. That was later restructured to include voidable option years in 2012 and 2013.

"I would definitely want this to be done sooner than later. But I also understand the process. So we'll just wait and see," said Brees, who added the "lines of communication have been open" since last year.

Brees also said there wasn't a sense of urgency to do a deal.

Brees, 31, helped the Saints win their first Super Bowl championship last season.

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