Could Drew Brees' contract situation further drag down the Carolina Panthers division rival? (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
As if the defending NFC South Champion New Orleans Saints didn't have enough on their plate being embroiled in "Bounty Gate" and facing likely penalties in the near future; the troubled franchise also has an angry quarterback on its hands.
An AM station in New Orleans reported Quarterback Drew Brees is "livid" over receiving the franchise tag and won't sign the tender.
The under-sized Purdue product is coming off a career year which saw him break Dan Marino's long-standing record for passing yards. He was signed by the Saints as a free agent in 2005 and helped the team to its first Super Bowl in 2009.
The two sides have until July 15 to hammer out a long-term deal, or Brees will be forced to sign the tender or hold out. The tender would net Brees upwards of $16 million for the 2012 season.
The prospect of facing the Saints at least once without up to half of their starters on defense is tantalizing enough, but the idea that Brees' contract remains up in the air is even more encouraging for Carolina and its fans.
This move could also affect the team's strategy for re-signing several key free agents on offense, most notably Wide Receiver Marques Colston and Guard Carl Nicks, because the team will not yet know just how much it would cost to field Brees this year.
The Saints may also miss out on using their franchise tag to keep one of those free agents in town.
Stay tuned for more shocking developments and juicy gossip as the New Orleans world turns...
How will the Drew Brees saga play itself out?
Brees signs the franchise deal and plays for the Saints next year. (94 votes)
Brees holds out and is rewarded with a long-term deal shortly before the regular season starts. (184 votes)
The Saints pony up and ink him long term at the start of the league year. (246 votes)
Brees misses the entire 2012 season. (36 votes)
560 total votes