Now reports are that the gap is getting smaller. If that's true, why hasn't the deal been done?
It makes no sense for the Saints to sacrifice Brees' involvement in the offseason program during an offseason of so much upheaval and uncertainty.
Brees doesn't need the work as much as the Saints need Brees with Sean Payton gone for the season.
Pat Yasinskas, who covers the NFC South, was an observer at the Saints' two minicamp practices on Tuesday.
Here are a sample of his observations:
1. At times, Chase Daniel looked very good as first-team quarterback. Same for Sean Canfield. He saw back-to-back incompletions something he hadn't seen when Drew Brees was running the show.
2. He noted that coach Joe Vitt was high on young defensive ends Greg Romeus, Junior Galette and Martez Wilson although they weren't in pads.
3. He said Vitt that said the Saints had six draft choices this year, not five, because Romeus had to sit out his rookie season with a knee injury and is being treated as a rookie.
4. New defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo was high on defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley, who joined the Saints during the offseason. Spag liked Bunkley's fundamentals and attention to detail.
5. Jimmy Graham said he had more muscles by spending more time in the weight room, but his weight is still 265.
6. The Saints lost guard Carl Nicks to the Bucs, who are paying him $12 million a year, but his replacement Ben Grubbs may be better than Nicks in some ways because Vitt said Grubbs is probably a better communicator at the line of scrimmage. Nicks is regarded as the best guard in the NFL.
7. The Saints are experimenting at linebacker. In the morning workout, Curtis Lofton, Scott Shanle and David Hawthorne worked with the first team. Chris Chamberlain worked with the first team in the afternoon in place of Shanle.
8. Zach Strief worked with the first team in the morning session, but he wasn't on the field in the afternoon practice. Rookie Marcel Jones worked with the first team in the afternoon. Vitt said Charles Brown was competing for a starting job this season.
9. Left tackle Jermon Bushrod, who was rehabbing an injury throughout the early OTAs, was back on the field and practicing with the first unit.
10. Former Saints wide receiver coach Curtis Johnson, now the Tulane head coach, brought his staff out to watch practice.
11. Safety Roman Harper is criticized for his lack of pass defense skills, but he had a nice breakup on a deep pass in the morning session.
Yasinskas liked what he saw and believes the Saints will be a postseason team again this season despite their stormy offseason.
New daily blog by Kicker Tom Morstead on NewOrleansSaints.com:
I didn’t major in English or journalism so please forgive my ‘blogging’ skills.
Tuesday was just another day at the office. But for Saints fans this day couldn’t come soon enough. Saints fans are the best and most loyal fans in the world. I showed up to the facility at 8 am (more than two hours before practice begins) and there was already a line of fans waiting to get on the practice field. Mind you, it was probably already 85 degrees and felt like 100 percent humidity - That is dedication!
With all that has happened this offseason, our fans were ready and waiting to get their first look at this 2012 New Orleans Saint team.
There are many new faces for fans to familiarize themselves with. Free Agency brought in linebackers Curtis Lofton , Chris Chamberlain andDavid Hawthorne , defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley , and offensive guard Ben Grubbs among others.
Our fans also had the chance to see our drafted rookies for the first time - DTAkiem Hicks , WR Nick Toon , DB Corey White , G Andrew Tiller and OT Marcel Jones .
These OTA and mini-camp practices are different from training camp because we can only have helmets on. There are no leg or shoulder pads allowed which makes a difference in how the team practices.
There is little to no contact so this is a time for the guys to learn their plays and mentally understand what they are supposed to be doing.
A big focus is put on keeping a high tempo throughout the entire practice.
This also helps guys get in great condition for the upcoming training camp and regular season.
As fan favorites like Jimmy Graham , Darren Sproles , Lance Moore ,Pierre Thomas , Zach Strief , Jermon Bushrod , Malcolm Jenkins and Roman Harper made their way onto the field Tuesday you could hear fans erupt in cheers.
SOME HITHER, others yon: Anthony Davis, the eventual No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft, probably won't be invited to play for Team USA in the Olympics. Even though the future Hornets forward could help the team with his youthfulness, length, eagerness to learn and ability to play defense, Team USA head honcho Jerry Colangelo doesn't like using college players in the game. So, Davis is a longshot to be named to the team even though he would be a big asset to the team...