The New Orleans Saints were offering Drew Brees a multi-year deal worth nearly $19 million-per-year, Pro Football Talk reported, citing a source close to the negotiations.
The source also said the star quarterback was demanding less than the $21 million-plus annual figures previously reported amid the slow-burning talks.
The source said the Saints’ offer to the unsigned franchise player was more than the $18 million-per-year being widely cited and "possibly closer to $19 million."
The figures chimed with an ESPN report Tuesday that claimed the sides were around $2 million-per-year apart in the negotiations ahead of the deadline for signing franchise players to contract extensions.
Brees said previously that the figures attributed to him by some sections of the media were overinflated.
Under the franchise tag, Brees would be paid more than $16 million for the 2012 season.
But the 33-year-old, 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.
Last month, he lamented a lack of communication with the team on his demand for a long-term contract, calling it "extremely frustrating."