NEW ORLEANS (AP) Saints star quarterback Drew Brees says he's ''not stressing'' about a recent lack of progress on a possible contract extension with New Orleans and said he'll approach this season the same way whether he gets a new deal or not.
Brees, who has been participating in offseason practices this week, said Wednesday night that holding out is ''not even a consideration.''
''I'd love a long-tern deal to get done, something that would lock me up for the rest of my career,'' Brees said while participating in a charity softball event featuring numerous Saints players. ''I plan on playing for a few more years and obviously I expect it to be here. But I'm not stressing about it at all.
''Whether I'm locked up for five years or whether I have a one-year deal, it's still the same mindset for me,'' Brees stressed. ''I'm playing year to year in regards to what I have to prove.''
Brees said there haven't been any contract talks for nearly two months.
''It's been a little while since we had discussions,'' Brees said, but added, ''I really haven't given it a whole lot of thought'' recently.
''All those discussions will take place again. If they don't, they don't,'' Brees said. ''I'll play the season with the same approach that I would play whether we had a long term deal or not.''
Brees spoke while taking part in an event benefiting a couple of charities including the Team Gleason Foundation, started by former Saints special teams standout Steve Gleason, who has Lou Gehrig's Disease - also known as ALS - and made it his mission to improve the lives of those living with disease's paralyzing effects. It also benefited the Son of a Saint charity that provides mentoring and opportunities for underprivileged children.
The last time Brees went into the final season of a contract, he played through it without a new deal. That was 2011, which turned out to be his most prolific season; he passed for a then-NFL record 5,476 yards. He then held out until July 2012, when he signed a five-year, $100 million extension that expires after the 2016 season.
Last season, Brees led the NFL in yards passing with 4,870.
This season, his contract will count about $30 million against New Orleans' salary cap. An extension could help the Saints reduce Brees' cap burden this season by spreading out what the franchise QB is owed, but with most high-profile free agents already signed this offseason, it appears the Saints are prepared to move ahead with Brees' current cap burden if they cannot reach an agreement this summer.
Brees said he'll remain interested in resuming negotiations until around the time the regular season begins.
''I don't like to talk about contracts during the season. If you remember in 2011, where it began to drag into the season, three weeks in I was like, `I don't want to deal with it anymore. I want to focus on football, focus on the season,''' Brees recalled. ''That has always been my approach. That'll be my approach again. There's a deal to be done now, and if it doesn't get done now, it'll be a different deal to get done at the end of the year.
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