Drew Brees wants a long-term extension with the New Orleans Saints completed before off season training begins in just a few days.

He's also concerned about how New Orleans is being portrayed in the NFL's bounty investigation, and New Orleans is concerned that Brees might not practice or play under his franchise tag designation.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Brees said,"This is a very critical period here over the next short while until we start April 16th". He went on to say, "What I'm really focused on is continuing to negotiate toward a long-term deal and I really am not going to look too far down the road other than just what's right in front of me.

Brees was asked if he was prepared to play on a one-year franchise tender if he and the Saints couldn't agree to a long-term contract.

He didn't answer yes or no, but his answer was revealing.

"I've played under the franchise tag before, back in 2005 (with the Chargers), and that ended with 13 anchors in my right shoulder and a 25 percent chance of playing football again," Brees said.