By Ed Werder
(ESPN) New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis submitted a revised contract proposal to Drew Brees' representatives Thursday in an attempt to break the deadlocked negotiations with the Super Bowl-winning quarterback, according to a source close to the discussions.
Agent Tom Condon, who represents Brees, and Loomis have been seeking to resolve a salary difference of approximately $2 million per year. The two sides resumed a dialogue early this week after a long period of relative silence, the source said.
It is not known how much Loomis improved the team's previous offer or whether it will prove to be acceptable to Brees and his representatives, who are believed to be evaluating it.
A source close to the negotiations previously told ESPN that Brees, 33, has taken a hard stance in negotiations because he understands that this could be the final contract of his NFL career.
Brees, who broke Dan Marino's single-season passing record last season, has been the league's most prolific passer since signing with the Saints in 2006.
With this deal, he could surpass Peyton Manning to become the NFL's highest-paid player.
Loomis has not responded to a text message seeking confirmation or comment.
The Saints on Thursday completed mandatory minicamp that Brees was forced to miss since he is unsigned and has not accepted the franchise tender.
Meanwhile, Jeffrey Kessler, an attorney on retainer with the NFL Players Association, said Thursday that he expects a grievance hearing to be scheduled in late June with arbitrator Stephen Burbank to determine the designation of Brees' franchise tag.
The union asked Burbank last week to determine whether Brees has been hit with the franchise tag for a first or second time, because the language in the collective bargaining agreement is vague.
The Saints placed their exclusive rights tag on Brees earlier this offseason. But his first team, the Chargers, placed the tag on Brees in 2005 after his rookie contract expired. The applicable language in the CBA says “any club that designates a player for the third time … ” The union's position is the CBA intended for a player to be franchised no more than three times, regardless of which team places the tag.
Brees' current tag is worth $16.371 million.
Information from ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen was used in this report.