Jokes aside, Brees grateful for NFL longevity

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Brees ultimately signed a five-year, $100 million deal shortly before a mid-July deadline to reach an extension. Brees accepted that protracted period of limbo as part of the business of the NFL and has little doubt Graham does as well.

“I really haven’t thought twice about it. I know this is part of the deal,” Brees said of Graham’s holdout. “This is the process sometimes. We text pretty often, actually, and a lot of times just as friends, really nothing to do with football.”

Graham’s current franchise tag would pay him $7 million, but the NFL Players Association has filed a grievance on Graham’s behalf which states he should receive a wide receiver tag worth $12.3 million because he most often lined up split out from the offensive line last season. An arbitration hearing is scheduled to start on June 17, unless a long-term extension is reached before then.

“I know he wants to be (at offseason workouts and practices) with us, just like me two years ago,” Brees said. “The big thing is, don’t take it personal and this will happen in due time - hopefully sooner than later so we can get some time together before the season.”

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