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Person familiar with the situation: Saints make a new contract offer to QB Drew Brees
METAIRIE, La. (AP) ' The New Orleans Saints have made a new contract offer to record-setting quarterback Drew Brees, said a person familiar with the situation.
The person spoke to The Associated Press Thursday on condition of anonymity because the team and the quarterback have not publicly discussed the new offer. The person did not provide details about financial changes in the new offer, but added, "as always, there is a lot to get through and no deal is imminent."
The Saints have placed their one-year franchise tag on Brees, barring him from negotiating with other teams. Brees has said he wants to remain in New Orleans but has skipped voluntary practices and minicamp while holding out for a long-term deal.
If a deal were to get done over the weekend, Brees would be able to attend the Saints' final set of voluntary offseason practices next week.
Brees was in New Orleans on Thursday, but not for contract negotiations.
He attended a City Council hearing to support a zoning ordinance required for a Jimmy Johns sandwich shop he will open not far from his New Orleans home in the city's historic Uptown district.
The council voted unanimously in favor of the variance, but Brees declined to be interviewed or make any comments about football as he was escorted to a waiting car outside City Hall.
Brees later boarded a flight back to San Diego.
Brees, who joined the Saints as a free agent in 2006, has during the past six seasons had more completions (2,488) for more yards (28,394) and more touchdown passes (201) than any other quarterback in the NFL. His 67.8 percent completion rate spanning the past six seasons also tops the league.
Arriving in New Orleans the season after Hurricane Katrina struck, Brees has become arguably the most popular sports figure in the city's history. In addition to leading the club to its lone Super Bowl title in the 2009 season, Brees has become a civic pillar of the community. He and wife Brittany have worked through their Brees Dream foundation to sponsor about $8 million in projects primarily aimed at improving the lives of children in the area through the refurbishing of schools or renovation of athletic fields and facilities. His foundation also has supported the arts, along with hospital facilities for cancer patients.
In 2011, Brees set NFL single-season records with 468 completions, 5,476 yards passing and a completion percentage of 71.2. His prolific passing numbers helped the Saints set a new NFL high for total offensive yards in a season with 7,474.
He led the Saints to a 13-3 regular season record and second NFC South Division title in three seasons. New Orleans defeated Detroit in the first round of the playoffs before falling in the final seconds of their second-round game at San Francisco.