Minnesota Vikings have spoken with Drew Brees' agent

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The NFL free agency period for 2018 begins on at 4 p.m.

But the two sides are cutting things a little close.

Monday's deadline isn't that big of a deal, really. This may largely be a reason for the strong interest from Cousins and could potentially sway Brees to consider if the contract situation in New Orleans doesn't work out.

Until Brees signs on the dotted line, he's fair game for other teams.

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, "other QB-needy teams" also called regarding Brees, who is set to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason, per Spotrac.

But Wednesday is a serious deadline not only because Brees will be free to sign elsewhere. If they don't do so by the start of the new league year, $18 million in dead money is going to be stuck on their cap next year regardless of where Brees goes. And then get to choose when they exit.

That road to the Super Bowl might seem a little too daunting for Brees, who would easily be the second best quarterback in the AFC behind Tom Brady if he signed with a team there.

Still, it's not all surprising that this deal is coming down to the wire.

For Brees, it's a chance to inflate his market value in his Saints negotiations. While Brees leaving the comfort of Sean Payton's offense is still unlikely, the Saints are playing a unsafe game by letting it get to this point.

Brees is indeed getting older, but it is clearly evident that he still has a lot of football left in him.

Regardless, eight weeks and one day ago, no one would have expected it to take this long for a new deal to be done.

"Drew Brees has been the single greatest motivation for me as a player", Strief said. But I expect him to cut the Saints a break on the length, with only about one year fully guaranteed.

"My greatest drive as a player was not to let you down", Strief told Brees.