METAIRIE - New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees said Wednesday his ongoing negotiations with club officials on a contract extension won’t be a distraction for the team if talks drag on into the season.
Brees’ comments came one day after his agent, Tom Condon, traveled to New Orleans to meet face-to-face with Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis in the hopes of making progress on a new contract.
The six-year, $60 million contract Brees signed in March 2006 expires after this season, and a report surfaced two weeks ago that the two sides were far apart after Brees told reporters negotiations had been going ongoing.
“My agent and Mickey are in ongoing discussions,” Brees said Thursday. “For me, I’m trying to compartmentalize it the best I can. Obviously, I’m involved to an extent. I have other very important things to think about in preparing for the upcoming games, that’s why I hired my agent. They all have a job to do.
“I’m hoping it will be done sooner rather than later. But for me really, it’s about focusing on winning games and trying for it to not be a distraction.”
After Tuesday’s meeting, Condon told the New Orleans Times-Picayune he couldn’t try to characterize how far along the talks are.
“We spent a good deal of time together and had a substantial talk,” he said.
Moore works limited
The Saints got some good news Wednesday when wide receiver Lance Moore practiced on a limited basis after missing the season opener at Green Bay because of a groin injury.
Saints coach Sean Payton was hopeful that Moore, who was injured on Aug. 24 when the team held an extended training camp in California, will be able to play in Sunday’s home opener with the Chicago Bears.
He would help fill the void left by No. 1 wide receiver Marques Colston, who’ll likely be out at least four weeks after breaking his right collarbone late in the Packers’ game.
“Lance had a good day of work today, so we’re talking about the potential of Lance coming back and losing Marques,” Payton said.
Payton was optimistic that Colston will be out only a short time after having surgery on Friday. Doctors put a small plate in the shoulder to stabilize what Payton said was a clean fracture and noted he was already out of his sling.
In addition to Colston, kicker Garrett Hartley (hip) and strong safety Roman Harper (ankle) did not practice Wednesday, but Payton didn’t offer any details on Harper’s injury.
Moore and defensive tackle Tom Johnson (calf) worked limited.
For the Bears, safety Chris Harris (hamstring), guard Lance Louis (ankle), wide receiver Roy Williams (groin) were out along with All-Pro linebacker Brian Urlacher, whose mother died Monday in Arizona.
Running back Marion Barber (calf), linebacker Lance Briggs (knee) and cornerback Zackary Bowman (hamstring) had limited participation.
Urlacher was announced Wednesday as the NFC defensive player of the week for his efforts in the Bears’ 30-12 win over the Atlanta Falcons.
A 12-year veteran, Urlacher recorded a team-high 10 tackles from his middle linebacker spot and had an interception and also returned a fumble 12 yards for a touchdown in the second half.
Since becoming the Saints coach in 2006, Payton has defeated 14 of the other 15 NFC teams at least once - with the exception being the Bears.
Payton, who grew up in the Chicago suburb of Naperville, Ill., is 0-2 against the Bears in regular-season play and is 0-1 in the playoffs after losing the 2006 NFC title game to the team he rooted for as a youngster and later quarterbacked during the players strike in 1987.
Packers cornerback Charles Woodson was fined $10,000 by the NFL on Wednesday for throwing an uppercut to the midsection of Saints tight end David Thomas in the third quarter of last week’s game.
Thomas was blocking Woodson on a running play when NBC cameras caught Woodson striking Thomas.
Woodson was penalized 15 yards for unnecessary roughness, but was not ejected from the game.