Saints preseason schedule includes home games against Steelers, Ravens _lowres

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9)shakes hands with New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton before the first half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman) ORG XMIT: GAMS1


The New Orleans Saints continue to work on a potential new contract for the face of the franchise.

Drew Brees is entering the last year of his deal with a cap charge of $30 million, a charge big enough that NFL observes have been waiting expectantly for an extension to give the Saints some breathing room.

Saints head coach Sean Payton told WWL Tuesday that talks are ongoing.

“I’m sure Mickey and Drew and Tom Condon are hard at work at coming up with a solution and coming up with a number that is fair for everyone,” Payton said. “That’s what Mickey gets paid to do, and sometimes, it’s more challenging, and it’s never as quick as you’d like.”

For both sides, the tough part is find the right market value for a player who remains elite, but also a player who is now 37.

“The main thing is that I know they’ve been in communications, I know they’ve talked a bunch,” Payton said. “You’re always trying to find those similar players, and when you have those guys like Peyton or Brady, those guys are a few years older than where Drew is, and there’s a group of quarterbacks that are a few years younger, and so you’re always trying to find that balance. … Over time, I think it’ll all get sorted out.”

A few NFL observers have expected Brees to get a massive deal, given that an unproven starter like Brock Osweiler just signed a four-year, $72-million deal with $37 million guaranteed and Ravens starter Joe Flacco just signed a three-year extension worth $66.5 million, with $40 million guaranteed.

“The market is constantly in flux, and as the salary cap continues to move in the direction it’s moved, you see that, it’s always more visible at a position like quarterback, and maybe less visible with the offensive guard, and yet, all those positions are seeing spikes.”

Only time will tell what Brees is able to get in what might be the final contract of his career.