On March 5th, which is now just days away, the Saints will have to make their final decision on which player they will place the franchise tag, if any. With the pace of contract negotiations and the time remaining to discuss, it is looking more and more like the tag will go to Drew Brees.
If that were to happen, there would be little chance that the team could bring back their other two marquee free agents: wide receiver Marques Colston and guard Carl Nicks. This scenario seems like a disaster in the making and couldn't be any more disturbing for us as fans, as we're forced to put up with stuff like Pat Yasinskas writing about Peyton Manning being the possible replacement for Brees if he were to leave.
The latest leak of the contract situation states that the sides are still "well apart" from a deal and that Mickey Loomis only thinks Brees is 'very good' but not 'great,' which likely means this will come down to the wire. I'm not implying that a catastrophe will occur, but nothing is out of the question in the NFL. Mike Wilbon said it best on Wednesday's edition of Pardon the Interruption when he described how power hungry the NFL is and that the league will rub its leverage in players faces to flex its muscles.
Most disturbing, is that this long, drawn out process of retaining Brees is getting in the way of the Saints other plans. The front office has been deadlocked with Brees and it's halting other key signings the team could be making because his contract will obviously take up a bulk of available money. This mismanagement of time might come back to bite Loomis in the rear because his next priority, Carl Nicks, is getting unhappy. Nicks spent the majority of his Wednesday afternoon on Twitter voicing his reasoning for not wanting the franchise tag.
Loomis has until Monday, March 5th to get something worked out with Brees or all hell could break loose. Suddenly, the Saints might not have enough coin to satisfy Nicks' desires. Then the Saints are minus one All-Pro guard. Or they might decide they can't afford to pay Colston. Or both. The futures of a few Saints players revolve around what happens to Brees and all we as fans can do is sit back and hope Loomis plays his cards right.
Just remember this: money talks.