Photos: Saints take on Ravens _lowres

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Coach Sean Payton and New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) consult in the middle of the first quarter as the New Orleans Saints faced the Baltimore Ravens Monday, November 24, 2015.

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Drew Brees heard the rumors.

He’d get texts and calls telling him he was being traded to Tampa Bay. To the Jets. To wherever else. He didn’t listen. He knew better. He knew if something real was happening, he would hear it from the people who make such decisions.

“I’ll be honest with you, I did not pay attention one bit,” Brees told WWL radio host Kristian Garic. “This is that time of year when I’m really focused on the family. … I have a close enough relationship with everybody within the Saints organization that if something was going on I know I would hear it from them. If there was any seriousness or reality to it there would be discussions.”

In an offseason full of change, Brees took notice of what was going on around him. On one hand, he was shocked that tight end Jimmy Graham was traded. On the other, he said he understands there’s a business aspect to playing in the NFL.

And he knows one day that side of the game could eventually catch up to him.

“I do, absolutely. Absolutely,” Brees said when asked if he plans to retire in New Orleans. “But I also understand the reality of the business and everything. You got to perform and you got to give them reasons to keep you around. It’s really one year at a time.”

On the business side of things, Brees’ contract is structured so that he carries cap hits of $26.4 million in 2015 and $27.4 million in 2016. When asked by The Advocate if he would be willing to restructure his deal during the Super Bowl, he refused to comment.

He took the same approach when asked about his deal by Garic.

“Any conversations that take place about personnel, my contract, anything regarding our team, I have those conversations directly with Sean Payton, with Mickey Loomis, with Mr. Benson, with whoever else in the organization that needs to be a part of that,” Brees said. “That’s certainly not something that I talk about with anybody else.”