"I've made it known from the very beginning that I wasn't going anywhere else, and it was just a matter of us coming together and get a deal done that would continue things on, and that's what we were able to do."
That free agent stance might not be best for every NFL player, but it was best for New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who agreed to a two-year deal to remain a Saint and, likely, finish his Hall of Fame career in New Orleans.
Brees wasn't up for posturing, playing sides against one another or the deceptiveness that sometimes invades the process. Rather, the best player in franchise history simply had a goal of finishing what he has started with the Saints, which is a career that has produced a Super Bowl victory and has been the most successful for the franchise by every measure.
"We've always had great communication, we've always been very open and honest and up front with each other and so, it's just a matter of getting it done before the free agent deadline," Brees said during a teleconference with local media Wednesday morning.
He and the Saints did that by agreeing to the deal Tuesday, to keep Brees in the uniform that he has worn since 2006, when he initially joined the team as a free agent from San Diego.
Even then, though, Brees said there was a small measure of stress.
"Maybe just a little bit, from the standpoint that you're trying to do something that is very fair for both sides," he said. "I think I've always tried to take a very logical and reasonable approach to every contract, but I think especially now, you want to be able to look at the big picture and how it affects the rest of the team and how you continue to build the team so that you can make a run at the ultimate goal."
The Saints appear to be back on the path toward the goal after winning the NFC South Division title with an 11-5 record last season, winning their Wild Card playoff game against Carolina and falling one play short of advancing to the NFC Championship Game.
That followed three consecutive 7-9, non-playoff years.
"I can say this – '14, '15 and '16 were hard," Brees said. "Those were hard years, going through all we went through, not having the success that we wanted, feeling like things had gotten away from us a little bit.
"I feel like I've always been committed to turning that around and making sure that I was part of the solution. So, there was no doubt in my mind that we would have success last year. I felt like we had done a great job of going out and adding the type of free agents that match what we're looking for in character, toughness and intelligence.
"And I feel like we were able to hit on some of those draft picks, at least in year one. Those guys have to prove themselves each and every year, and we're always looking for improvement, we're always looking to get better. But you look at the potential that we have in our young players and it makes you feel excited about the future if it continues to progress in the same manner that we have."
It also helps to feel confident when the quarterback of the team is on pace to eclipse the NFL all-time records for passing yards and passing touchdowns, and hasn't shown any signs of slowing down.
The 39-year-old Brees said he's taking his career one season at a time. But…
"I do have a goal, I do have a vision," he said. "I do have a goal and vision for where my career is going to go and how long it's going to last, but I'm very, very focused on each year, one at a time."