Between the New Orleans Saints' heartbreaking loss to the San Francisco 49ers in last years playoffs, Bountygate, the fallout of bountygate and the current contract status of their future Hall of Fame franchise quarterback, it's safe to say that there is more than just a little frustration brewing among the Saints fanbase. That being said, while there is nothing that can be done about the first three, one dedicated fan is attempting to reach out to others in an effort to tie up the last, and most important problem; getting Drew Brees under contract.
Brees, the reigning NFL offensive player of the year, has yet to sign his franchise tag and doesn't look to be doing so anytime soon. Seeking a long term contract and stability, Brees has no intention of putting himself at risk again by playing under a non-secured one year deal. For those who are focusing on the 'again' part of that, Brees was franchised by the San Diego Chargers back in 2005 and ended up injuring his shoulder and losing his spot on the team because of it. Phillip Rivers would soon replace him after the injury.
Unfortunately, both he and the team still have quite a large gap to cover in monetary discrepancies before any contract can be finalized. It's this gap that season ticket holder and superfan Tony LeMon is hoping to close with the help of fellow Saints fans.
LeMon, an avid Saints supporter, has taken to the internet to try to raise enough funds to cover the gap in the dollars between the Saints and Brees. He created the website fansstepup.com and is imploring any and all to make donations in an attempt to create a bonus big enough to tip the scales in the favor of the Saints.
The following is taken from the website.
"Drew Brees has been an incredible ambassador for the City of New Orleans. Not only in his accomplishments on the football field, but in his charitable and community endeavors, he has lifted the spirits of New Orleanians when we were most challenged.
"In the past few months, we fans have been frustrated to know that Drew Brees may not continue his professional endeavors in New Orleans for reasons completely out of our control. But we can do something about it. We can STEP UP and give Drew a BONUS for all that he has done for New Orleans and this region. We can send a clear message to Drew Brees that we appreciate what he has done for us. We can send a clear message to Drew Brees that we want him to stay here.
"At the same time, we can let other cities in this country know that we are the best fans anywhere and that we take care of our own. We as fans can become empowered with the creation of this BONUS. We need not sit idly by while a New Orleans treasure is taken away from us."
Currently, the site has only managed to raise a little over $700 dollars and it's unlikely that Brees, even if the site raised millions, would accept money from fans; but as the saying goes, it's the thought that counts.
Maybe, upon hearing this, Brees and the organization will have a change of heart and be able to settle their differences somewhere in the middle. It's doubtful that this will sway them, but you never know.
Proceeds raised by the website, if not accepted by Brees, will go to his charity, Brees Dream Foundation, according to LeMon.
Drew Brees, like all franchise players, have until July 16 to sign multiyear deals or else must play the 2012 season under their franchise tender.
Photo Credit: Tony Medina/Icon SMI
James LeBeau is a sports contributor for CraveOnline Sports and you can follow him on Twitter @JleBeau76 or subscribe on Facebook.com/CraveOnlineSports.