Two days ago NFL.com released a couple of stories about Drew Brees' reaction to the punishments his team received for the "bounty" program they allegedly ran from 2009-2011. I personally have mixed feelings because Brees was also asked if he would be in attendance at the beginning of training camp and he didn't give the most comforting answer.
One of the stories is tied to Gregg Rosenthal, but the other didn't name an author although Steve Wyche's face was on the page. I think it was referring to a story he's written about the subject. Regardless of the author, Brees was recorded saying, "What I can say in regards to my contract is that we're continuing to work hard on a long-term deal, and that's really all I can say about it."
This is the same rhetoric we've heard all off-season about his contract negotiations, but it's a strange answer considering he wasn't asked about his contract but rather if he'd be at training camp next week. Do I smell a holdout brewing?
This is a definite possibility since he hasn't signed his franchise tender. In my opinion, Brees is holding all the cards right now. We've always considered the main reason for the teams success in recent years as a combination of Payton's coaching prowess and Brees' talent. Since Payton is suspended for the entire year all that's left in the equation is Brees' talent.
Considering how quiet the front office has been, I'm sure there's a flurry of activity related to player contracts and recruiting going on, but that thought doesn't help me sleep at night. Since the Saints are rebuilding the defense, have not named an interim head coach, their star quarterback still isn't under contract, and they don't have a draft pick until late in the third round, I'd say the team has some serious issues. While I am suffering through high blood pressure and constant indigestion.
Something else I found interesting is his reaction to some of the bounty questions. He's been pretty adamant about getting some answers from Goodell (good luck with that!) and said, "I was talking about my head coach. I wasn't referring to anybody else." So does he mean he doesn't care about Vitt or Loomis? I guess that makes sense since Payton and Brees are so close and are offensively minded. Either way my indigestion is still there and may be developing into chest pains.
I want to believe that Brees, Loomis, and Payton have already discussed team needs and are going to do their best to meet the contract demands of Brees, while waiting to see how the numbers turn out after picking up some key defensive needs. I want to believe that everything will be alright, but I am and always will be a doubting Thomas!