Although New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson said on Friday that they were close to a longterm deal with Drew Brees, the Saints QB doesn't plan to show up to the start of the offseason workouts on Monday, according to a report from Mike Triplett of the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
Prior to Benson's press conference on Friday, it was reported that Brees would not be signing his franchise tag tender and he would not be participating in the Saints workouts absent a longterm deal. So Benson saying the two sides were "close" did come out of the blue.
The start of the Saints offseason program will be centered on conditioning, so Brees could potentially miss that with few issues. The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports the deadline may really come in May.
Most likely, both sides will look to the start of OTAs (organized team activities) in mid-May as a more urgent deadline, when players will actually start practicing on the field.
According to NFL rules, the Saints have until July 15 to sign Brees to a longterm deal or else he will play the 2012 season under the franchise tag.
Brees is the same guy that paid for many of his teammates to gather and conduct player-run practices during the lockout last year. That he may not even be attending a portion of the workouts this season would be a major change.
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