By Ryan Thomas
To say that New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is optimistic that a deal will get done soon with the team, would be a fair assumption.
The six-time Pro Bowler, in an interview with the "The Dan Patrick Show" on Tuesday, said that there is "no new progress or any news to speak of," yet he remains confident that a long-term extension will be reached before the July 16 deadline.
In regards to playing underneath the franchise tag for the upcoming season, that doesn't seem to be in the cards for the 11-year vet.
"I've played under the franchise tag before back in 2005 with the San Diego Chargers, and that did not end well for me, that ended with me having a dislocated throwing shoulder the last game of the season, going into a year where I didn't have a contract, and fighting for my career."
While Brees set the NFL record for passing yards in a single season, and brought a championship to New Orleans, one would tend to think that a hefty pay-out in his contract, should be warranted at this point.
But as it stands now, neither side seems to be willing to budge. At the end of the day the NFL is a business, and are the Saints, amidst a controversial bounty scandal, prioritizing the re-signing of their franchise quarterback?
As far as any developments go, with-in the investigation of the NFL bounty scandal, Brees has taken a rather supportive approach, defending his teammates, coaches, and the Saints organization in it's entirety.
"I really to this point have not seen any hard evidence, any truth that shows these guys were contributing money or accepting money for a pay to injure scheme, I think that pay for performance, has been womped together with pay to injure in this whole thing."
While it can be expected that any teammate, especially the leader of the team, would make it a priority to protect the integrity of those he's left the greatest impression on, is it realistic for the head of the locker room to avoid any responsibility in the matter?
When asked about how exactly he thinks Commissioner Roger Goodell has dealt with the situation, Brees was pretty emphatic about the entire investigation
being a grave mistake.
"Everything has been either twisted or fabricated, or it just seems like this entire NFL investigation has been geared towards a predetermined conclusion, that they wanted to reach for whatever reason, as opposed to just going out and trying to identify the facts that have been presented thus far, do not back up the punishment that's been levied."
With heated exchanges and sparring words from both parties, in the eye of the public, the investigation could get a lot uglier before things start to calm down
and fall into place.
Aside from the differing opinions, and the constant presence of controversy, both sides seem to want the truth to surface so the game of football can once again become the topic of discussion.