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Brees deal is expected to “go down to the last minute”


“Close” continues to count only in horseshoes, hand grenades, and Breathalyzer results.

Despite multiple reports last week that the Saints and quarterback Drew Brees were “close” to a long-term deal that could be finalized by Monday, Monday has come and gone without a deal being done. As has Tuesday.

Several more Mondays and Tuesdays will come and go before Brees and the Saints resolve their differences. Per a source with knowledge of the talks, the negotiations are expected to “go down to the last minute.”

The last minute comes at the close of business on Monday, July 16, at which time the window closes on the ability of the team and the player to do a long-term deal, given the niceties of the franchise tag.

Earlier in the hour, Gantt (the first “t” is silent . . . or is it the second?) pointed out that Saints quarterback Chase Daniel has a broken thumb. That likely won’t impact the talks.

What could impact the situation is the upcoming grievance hearing, set for June 27, on the $3.9 million gap between the team’s and the player’s interpretation of the rules regarding the use of the franchise tag on Brees again in 2013. If, after the hearing before Stephen Burbank, each side is sufficiently concerned about losing, they could try to work something out in the middle before the money swings one way or the other.

One way or another, there’s no reason at this point to think that Brees and the Saints won’t have something in place by July 16.

In the grand scheme of history, I suppose that makes a deal “close.”