|Brees reportedly won't be happy if he gets tagged. (Getty Images)|
The Saints contract dispute with quarterback Drew Brees could continue on for a while now, as New Orleans general manager Mickey Loomis confirmed, via CBSSports.com's Larry Holder, that New Orleans has placed the franchise tag on its franchise player.
This news, originally reported by Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer, comes as a bit of a surprise, simply because the potential of the tag upsetting Brees is so high and because common sense told us that eventually the two sides would come to an agreement. But if the organization has tagged Brees, the two sides must have been far apart in their contract negotiations.
|New Orleans' forgettable offseason|
All is not lost, though, because the team and Brees have until July 16 to work out a long-term deal that would erase him having to play under the tag (if not, Brees will make about $15 million for 2012, because it's an exclusive tag, meaning he can't talk to other teams).
Otherwise, if they can’t come to an agreement, could this spell Brees’ potential departure from New Orleans after the 2012 seasno?
As CBSSports.com’s Mike Freeman opined, "What the hell are the Saints doing? I've said this before. There are certain players, only a handful, where you open the vault and roll out the cash. You give them a blank check. Brees is one of those players. Franchising Brees is going to anger him, no question. Players despise the tag because it limits their earning potential. So you've ticked off your best player. For what? Why?"
Of course, the Saints role as the bad guy was diminished a bit Friday (ahem, before the Saints role as the bad guy REALLY increased) by Larry Holder’s report that the Saints actually offered to make Brees the highest-paid player in the NFL but that Brees and his agent, Tom Condon, had turned down New Orleans.
Which didn't shock CBSSports.com's Pete Prisco, who wrote, "Let's get off this Brees-is-the-savior of New Orleans talk while we're at it. If this negotiation has taught us anything, it's that all players -- no matter what image they portray -- are in it for themselves.
Never forget that."
While tagging Brees would be bad for the Saints and for Brees, guard Carl Nicks is likely ecstatic by this latest news.
And that's really the other tough part for the franchise. Having to use its tag on Brees means the Saints likely will lose top-notch guard Carl Nicks and very well could have to say goodbye to receiver Marques Colston. Two more reasons why nobody in New Orleans should be happy with this development.
For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.