As USA Today reported Friday, resident Saints fans — such as Edmond Belizaire, a taxi driver — want to see their record-setting signal caller locked up for the long-term, especially in the midst of the franchise’s bounty scandal.
“With all the crap happening here, they should just sign Drew Brees and get the drama over with,” Belizaire said. ”Jonathan Vilma won’t be here this year. Will Smith will be gone for a few games. But with Drew Brees, you’ve still got a shot at getting to the Super Bowl.”
Belizaire acknowledged that Brees is even capable of holding a higher position of power.
“Brees could be mayor of New Orleans,” Belizaire said.
But it’s not just him. Ask any fan; they’ll tell you just how much No. 9 means to the team, and the city, for which he’s done plenty for over the years.
“Brees is the glue,” Nathan Washington, a hotel bellman, said. “He deserves whatever he’s asking for. How can you not give it to him? If that’s a problem for the Saints, I’ll start up a fund and take to the streets. If you’re talking about Brees, this community would chip in and pay for it.”
Neither Washington nor Belizaire need to explain how passionate and devoted Saints fans are. Remember, these were the same bunch that, paper towels and all, protested in front of the Superdome, chanting “Free Sean Payton!” and imploring the NFL to re-consider the BountyGate penalties.
At this point, however, their support only carries so much weight. Negotiations have made little-to-no progress in recent months, and the deadline to reach a long-term deal — July 16 — is fast approaching. Both sides are said to be about $4 million apart, though there is reason to think something will get done in the next two and a half weeks.
Until it gets hammered out, the only time fans might see the former Super Bowl MVP is if they walk into a local “Jimmy Johns.”
Or tune in to the ‘Late Show’ on Tuesday.
Photo: Larry French/Getty Images