Saints fan raises money to keep Brees

With the team far apart in contract talks with star quarterback Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints fans are taking matters into their own hands.

A 52-year-old season-ticket holder has started, calling on his fellow Saints fans to pony up some cash as a gesture to show Brees how much he means to the city.

"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," wrote lawyer Tony Le Mon.

"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."

Le Mon wrote that the money collected will go directly to Brees, adding that the effort is not endorsed by the player, the Saints, nor the NFL.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the site had attracted more than $1,000 in donations.

The team has so far opted to keep Brees for next season by using the franchise tag, which would pay the 33-year-old more than $16 million for the 2012 season.

But Brees, who broke the single-season passing yardage record in 2011 with 5,476, has refused to sign the one-year tender, and has not reported to the team’s offseason workouts.

Earlier this month, he lamented a lack of communication with the team on his demand for a long-term contract, calling it "extremely frustrating."