Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints are reportedly $5 million apart per year on a long-term contract extension.

Yahoo! Sports reported that the Saints are making moves to help close the gap with Brees in advance of Monday's deadline for teams to place franchise tags on players.

However, one of the reasons the team has been unable to reach a deal with Brees, according to the report, is Saints general manager Mickey Loomis' assessment of Brees.

Citing three league sources, Yahoo! Sports reported that Loomis referred to Brees as a "very good" quarterback instead of a great one when his colleagues quizzed him on the protracted contract talks.

Brees signed a six-year, $60 million contract with the Saints in 2006 and has turned a once-moribund franchise around.

New Orleans has reached the playoffs in four of Brees' six seasons, including a Super Bowl championship following the 2009 season.

Brees has thrown for over 4,000 yards for six consecutive seasons, including a league-record 5,476 this past season.