Drew Brees talks long-term

On a conference call with San Diego reporters, meant to be used as a time for an update on his recent surgery, Chargers quarterback Drew Brees said the team wanted to lock him up to a long-term deal.

Filtered between reports of his shoulder surgery and workout regimen to regain strength in his torn labrum, Drew Brees spoke about the Chargers wanting to sign him to a long-term deal.

"They want to pursue me long-term," Brees said. "As far as what's going on up to this point, it's not much, just the very beginning stages. I know they want me long-term and I want to be here long-term."

The Chargers were hesitant to offer Brees a long-term deal after Brees led the team to the playoffs in 2004 and put the franchise tag on him to keep him in San Diego for 2005. He responded with 3,508 yards passing on 315-for-486 passing with 24 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.

Negotiating the contract has not begun, according to both sides, but Brees expects that to happen soon.

"I would assume it would be pretty soon, obviously, because they probably want to get it done as soon as possible," Brees said. "With free agency coming up in March, the franchise-tag deadline in late February, I'm sure that that's something that's probably a big priority."

The Chargers usually don't begin the process of locking up players headed to free agency until February – after they have been able to sit down as an organization and discuss the outlook for the following season with their coaches and scouts. They are also focused on the Senior Bowl and the week of practices leading to the game.

The Chargers have already paid more than $14.25 million to Philip Rivers but have the cap room to fit both quarterbacks under for 2006.

It is unclear how Brees' torn labrum and healing process will affect how much he will command on a long-term deal.

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