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Preview: Yardbarker: New Orleans Saints

Yardbarker: New Orleans Saints



Recent articles about New Orleans Saints



 



Eight loaded teams that can gamble with the NFL draft

19 Apr 2018 23:30:20 -0400

Some floundering franchises really need to ace the upcoming NFL Draft. Unfortunately, not every team has the luxury of having a roster stocked to the brim with elite talent. On the other side of the coin are strong contenders that can afford to gamble when they go on the clock.Teams that are loaded at nearly every position can actually have some fun while trying to select some later-round picks that might turn into gems. Perhaps moving up the draft board might be in store for these clubs looking to make bold moves, too.Seven of the eight teams we consider here made the playoffs for 2017. Only one did not quite advance to the postseason, though it does have one of the more sound rosters in the league. Starting with that particular AFC West franchise, here are eight teams that can take a gamble in the 2018 NFL Draft.Los Angeles Chargers: Pick No. 17 (six total picks)The Chargers finished the 2017 season falling just short of making the playoffs. They have a well-oiled offense featuring quarterback Philip Rivers



Most compelling game each week on the 2018 NFL schedule

19 Apr 2018 21:05:30 -0400

There’s no more guesswork to be done. Now that the 2018 NFL schedule is officially official, we can really look ahead to see which games grab our attention the most.For the purposes of this list, we’re focusing on the most compelling game each week around the league. Not surprisingly, a bunch of them occur on Sunday or Monday night — both prime-time schedules are absolutely loaded this year (in theory, at least).From a Week 1 matchup between two quarterbacks on new teams that just paid them a ton of cash to be there to a Week 17 battle between divisional rivals, these are the games we can’t wait to watch.Week 1: San Francisco 49ers vs. Minnesota VikingsJimmy Garoppolo and Kirk Cousins just got paid in a major way, with both quarterbacks setting new markets at the time of their new deals. Now it’s time to see if they were really worth all that cash, and the football gods have made it easy by pairing them together in Week 1. San Francisco isn’t the same kind of expected championship contender as Minnesota, whic



Bears to sign WR Marlon Brown

19 Apr 2018 17:23:50 -0400

While Marlon Brown won’t be as likely to make the Bears’ 53-man roster as the franchise’s other offseason additions at this spot, he reached an agreement to compete for a spot. The Bears signed the former Ravens supporting-cast wideout on Thursday, Adam Caplan of ESPN.com tweets. Brown has not played in an NFL game since the 2015 season. Brown worked out for the Bears on Tuesday.Brown joins Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel and Bennie Fowler as newcomer Bears wideouts. Still just 26, the 6-foot-5 receiver was out of football last season, last being affiliated with the Broncos during their 2017 training camp. Brown’s best season came in 2013, when he caught 49 passes for 524 yards and seven touchdowns. The Georgia product has not gotten into the end zone since his rookie season.After losing RFA Cameron Meredith to the Saints, the Bears’ wide receiver group will look almost entirely new this season. Josh Bellamy and Kevin White remain on the roster, but the latter can’t exactly be counted on given his extensive in



Saints RB Mark Ingram changes agents

18 Apr 2018 20:23:54 -0400

Saints running back Mark Ingram is entering a contract year, and he’ll now have a new agent to work out his next deal. Ingram has hired VIP Sports Management to replace Joel Segal of Lagardere Sports and Entertainment, according to Josh Katzenstein of NOLA.com. Ingram will earn a base salary of $4M in 2018, but he could have potentially become a free agent this offseason. The 28-year-old Ingram’s contract contains a clause that would have voided the final year of the deal had he been named as a first-team All-Pro. That didn’t happen, as Todd Gurley and Le’Veon Bell were the NFL’s All-Pros at running back and “flex,” respectively.Although he didn’t earn All-Pro honors, Ingram still posted arguably the best campaign of his seven-year career. Pairing with dynamic rookie Alvin Kamara, Ingram managed career-highs in carries (230), yards (1,124), rushing touchdowns (12), and receptions (58). Ingram ranked seventh in Football Outsiders‘ DVOA, meaning he was effective on a per-play basis, and also finished as a top-1



Saints to re-sign WR Brandon Coleman

18 Apr 2018 18:21:11 -0400

The Saints have agreed to re-sign wide receiver Brandon Coleman, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link).Coleman was scheduled to hit restricted free agency last month, but New Orleans non-tendered him rather than offer him a contract. An original round tender — the cheapest of the RFA tags — would have cost the Saints just $1.907 million, so they’ve presumably re-signed Coleman at an even cheaper rate.Exactly how often Coleman will be called on to contribute during the upcoming season is unclear, as the Saints have improved their wide receiving corps over the past month. New Orleans landed Cameron Meredith after inking the former Bear to a restricted offer sheet, one which Chicago declined to match. He’ll likely act as the Saints’ slot receiver between Michael Thomas and Ted Ginn Jr., so Coleman is — at best — the club’s fourth wideout.



NFC South notes: Tre Boston, Saints, Falcons, Bucs

18 Apr 2018 13:57:24 -0400

Safety Tre Boston remains unsigned and Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer wonders if the Chargers free agent’s history of social activism is hampering his market. Much has been written about Eric Reid‘s ongoing unemployment, but Boston was fairly outspoken following the shooting death of Keith Lamont Scott by a Charlotte police officer two years ago while with the Panthers. For his part, Boston isn’t sure that his public stance in 2016 is working against him.“I have no idea. But if I told you there’s a 25-year-old out there, no nagging injuries, no off-field issues, [eight] career picks, 180 tackles-plus, [two] sacks, what would you tell me?” Boston said. “I don’t know. I can’t say what upstairs is thinking,” he added. “But I know I have the stats and the numbers to play with the best of them. So for me it’s just being patient. Things are gonna happen.”Late last month, Boston said that he has drawn interest from the Cardinals, Raiders, Browns, and Giants this offseason. We haven’t heard much about him in re



Each NFL team's most head-scratching offseason move

17 Apr 2018 22:16:19 -0400

This NFL offseason has not been boring by any means. Every NFL team has made key moves in an attempt to better its roster and/or coaching staff this year. Though, this does not mean the general public necessarily agrees with some of those moves.This year features a new highest-paid player in the league as well as a $100 million NFL head coach. In addition, there have also been several other big contracts inked by players who will undoubtedly fail to live up to expectations.We have all of these stories and more covered here as we discuss each NFL team’s most head-scratching offseason moves.Arizona Cardinals: Breaking the bank on Sam BradfordWhy? When the Cardinals signed Bradford to a one-year, $20 million deal, it ignited a social media riot. Bradford is one of the most injury-prone quarterbacks in the league, and should he miss any time this season, he still walks away with $15 million guaranteed. We are talking about a quarterback who has missed 48 career games and has earned $114 million since 2010. For th



Sean Payton doesn't see a Luck or Wentz in this draft

17 Apr 2018 17:30:42 -0400

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton knows all about good quarterbacks. After all, he has future Hall of Famer Drew Brees at his disposal. But when it comes to the 2018 NFL Draft class, Payton has his doubts. And remember, this class has several QBs that are likely to go in the first round.But speaking to Peter King of The MMQB, Payton says the following:I don’t see Luck in this draft, and I don’t see Carson Wentz, who I liked a lot coming into the draft.And while he notes the importance of getting a franchise QB, Payton stresses that it’s not something a team can force.I’d feel a little bit uneasy if I were at the top of this draft… The pressure to get a quarterback is so great in this league, I get that. But we can’t create ’em. I wouldn’t be surprised if only one of these guys is left standing in four or five years…But who does that distinction belong to in Payton’s eyes?…and if so, I’d guess it would be Sam Darnold.And while some of this comes off as a little harsh, it’s not difficult to see his logi



WR Willie Snead reports to Saints

16 Apr 2018 16:23:07 -0400

Willie Snead‘s status for 2018 remains uncertain, but he is proceeding as though he’ll be with the Saints in 2018. On Monday, the wide receiver reported to the team for workouts, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Snead was tendered by New Orleans at the lowest level this offseason, giving the Saints the right to match any offer sheet he signs (but no draft compensation). The wide receiver auditioned for the Ravens recently, but did not sign a deal with them. For now, he remains in limbo, but he could be getting close to signing his one-year, $1.907MM placeholder with the Saints.Snead, 26 in October, was hardly a factor in the Saints™ offense last year. However, he averaged 70 catches for 940 yards and four touchdowns over the previous two seasons. Last year, as an exclusive rights free agent, he pushed for an improved contract and didn’€™t get it. He’s a long way from that big-money contract he wanted, but he could restore his value this year and look for a better payday next March.The Saints added Cameron Mere



Report: Saints pick up Andrus Peat's option

13 Apr 2018 10:54:56 -0400

The Saints have officially exercised the 2019 fifth-year option on offensive lineman Andrus Peat, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. Peat has become the first 2015 first round draft pick to formally have it picked up. The decision to pick up Peat’s contract for 2019 was something of a no-brainer. After previous experiments with the former No. 13 overall pick at left tackle, he switched over to left guard over the past two years and performed well. Peat has 29 starts to his credit between 2016 and 2017.Per the terms of the fifth-year option, Peat’s 2019 season will be guaranteed for injury only. Should his performance decline, the Saints can get out of the deal with no fiscal penalty.For first-rounders picked outside the top 10, the option is determined by the average of the third through 25th top salaries at that position. In time, we’ll know Peat’s exact figure.Peat finished the year on injured reserve after he suffered a broken ankle in the first round of the playoffs.



Gayle Benson to run Saints following husband’s death

12 Apr 2018 18:00:14 -0400

Some clarity emerged about the operation of the Saints on Thursday. Gayle Benson, the widow of deceased Saints owner Tom Benson, will run the team.She announced her late husband’s plan was for her to be the franchise’s controlling owner.“My husband’s plan and desire was for me to have full voting control of the Saints and to serve as Controlling Owner of the team per NFL rules,” Gayle Benson wrote in a letter to the 31 other teams today (via PFT). “I understood this and want to reassure you that I am fully prepared to assume this role. Moving forward, I too, will provide the Commissioner my very own Ownership Succession Plan of the New Orleans Saints.“Please rest assured, I will own and operate this franchise until my death and do so with the same drive and focus towards success that my husband displayed throughout his life.”Tom Benson owned the Saints from 1985 until his death last month. Benson married Gayle, his third wife, in 2004. Her involvement represented a point of contention with some of Benson’s he



Dolphins meet with Kenny Vaccaro

12 Apr 2018 10:45:06 -0400

Kenny Vaccaro will visit the Dolphins on Thursday, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. This marks Vaccaro’s first known visit of the offseason. With the ability to play both safety and slot cornerback, we had Vaccaro ranked as one of the best safeties in this year’s free agent crop. Unfortunately, the market has sagged for that entire position group. Many of this year’s top safeties had to settle for inexpensive deals and a some remain unemployed, including Vaccaro, Tre Boston, and Eric Reid.Evaluations of Vaccaro’s ability may differ. A first-round pick in 2013, Vaccarro has turned in three exemplary seasons and two lousy years. In 2017, Pro Football Focus rated Vaccaro as the single-worst safety in the league among 87 qualifiers. But, given his draft pedigree and his ability to man the slot, Vaccaro was still expected to land a quality deal.The Dolphins project to start T.J. McDonald and Reshad Jones at safety, so Vaccaro would be looking at a bench role in Miami.



Report: Kenny Vaccaro visiting Dolphins

12 Apr 2018 09:40:03 -0400

The Miami Dolphins have unloaded key portions of their roster this offseason, but the franchise is eyeing veteran safety Kenny Vaccaro to roam the secondary.Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports Vaccaro is visiting Miami on Thursday.A first-round pick of the New Orleans Saints in 2013, he’s totaled at least 60 tackles in all five NFL seasons. Last year, Vaccaro posted a career-low 60 stops while breaking up seven passes and intercepting three.Miami doesn’t have an immense need at safety, since two-time Pro Bowler Reshad Jones and recently signed T.J. McDonald are penciled in to the starting spots. Vaccaro would provide some appreciated depth, though likely only at a backup’s price.



Saints host Lamar Jackson

11 Apr 2018 13:15:05 -0400

The Saints hosted former Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson for a visit on Tuesday, sources tell Nick Underhill of The Advocate. The Jackson meeting counts for one of the Saints’ “Top 30” visits.Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael and quarterbacks coach Joe Lombardi attended Louisville’s pro day recently and apparently came away impressed by the mobile QB. The Saints are obviously well set at the QB position, but they could consider Jackson as an future heir to Drew Brees.“I like him. I like him. He’™s athletic. He’s got a magic smile to him. He’s a leader,” head coach Sean Payton recently said. “œWith Lamar, you feel it in the room, and you can tell he can lead. … He’s a special guy. You just have to be around him, interview him, and you can see why he was successful.”Jackson offers a radically different skill set than Brees, but that doesn’t seem to bother the Saints.“The trick for a team that takes a quarterback at any point to become or to compete to become a starter, one of our jobs is to look



Saints land Meredith as Bears refuse to match

11 Apr 2018 08:30:37 -0400

Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints officially have a new weapon. Last week, the Saints would sign Bears wideout Cameron Meredith to an offer sheet. Wednesday, he officially becomes a Saint as the Bears didn’t match.“Bears are not matching two-year, $10 million offer sheet that RFA WR Cameron Meredith signed last week with the New Orleans Saints, per league source. … Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy met with Meredith to inform him of decision.”Signing Allen Robinson earlier this offseason undoubtedly plays a part in this, but the question is: why? Perhaps the Bears didn’t want to have two wideouts coming off of season-ending ACL injuries. Or maybe it’s as simple as the Bears not wanting to pay $5 million per year for him.But in Meredith, the Saints are getting a pretty solid weapon for Brees and company. It helps that New Orleans isn’t nearly as pass-dependent as they once used to be with Brees under center. Meanwhile Meredith, 25, would pile up 888 yards and four scores on 66 receptions last season.Will the Bears r



Report: Saints re-sign FB Zach Line

05 Apr 2018 13:12:11 -0400

The Saints have re-signed Zach Line, according to Nick Underhill of The Advocate (on Twitter). The fullback returns on a new two-year deal.Line had a limited market this offseason since most teams in the NFL do not employ a fullback. The ones that do – like the Raiders and Cowboys – have already found their FB solutions elsewhere.Last year, Line joined the Saints after John Kuhn landed on IR. He saw time on 168 snaps on offense plus 126 on special teams in 12 games. Line graded out as the third-best fullback in the NFL, per Pro Football Focus, placing behind only Patrick Ricard (Ravens) and James Develin (Patriots).



WATCH: Mark Ingram tries to evade security dog, but his attempt backfires

04 Apr 2018 22:52:56 -0400

Saints running back Mark Ingram has made a number of NFL defenders miss on attempts to tackle him, but dogs are a different animal, which he recently learned.Ingram paid a visit to Aviano Air Base in Italy for the NFL USO Tour — meeting with U.S. troops and their families while there — and that’s where he attempted to outrun a security dog.It didn’t go well.The Saints running back wore protective gear and tried to run away from the dog, and it’s safe to say the four-legged fella got the best of him, which you can see in the video below. Ingram later reacted to the encounter after getting destroyed by the dog. It’s safe to say the dog won that round, and we highly doubt Ingram will be coming back for more.



WATCH: Mark Ingram decleated by security work dog

04 Apr 2018 14:07:14 -0400

New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram is one of five NFL players currently overseas doing a NFL-USO tour to visit military forces stationed in Europe.On Wednesday, he decided to do something adventurous while at Italy’s Aviano Air Base. It didn’t exactly work out well for him, though. Ingram got absolutely leveled by a dog half his size. I mean, he really got taken down hard. No doubt, Sean Payton has made a phone call by now to exchange some ideas with Ingram about how he’s spending his time in Europe.



Drew Brees files lawsuit alleging jeweler ripped him off for $9M

03 Apr 2018 12:12:12 -0400

Drew Brees has filed a lawsuit alleging that a jeweler he’s been using “for years” has been ripping him off to the tune of roughly $9 million.TMZ Sports reports Brees has dropped around $15 million in jewelry — including a ring that he paid $8.13 million for — over the course of his business deals with  Vahid Moradi, the man who runs the CJ Charles jewelry shop in San Diego.However, Brees alleges in his lawsuit that he had his collection appraised recently and that it is worth $9 million less than he has paid. The ring he paid over $8 million for was appraised at $3.75 million — less than half what he paid.He also alleges he was told by Moradi that the jewelry would appreciate over time and that he was making a sound investment. Now he feels he was lied to by Moradi, though the jeweler’s attorney, Eric M. George, disagrees.“Drew Brees aggressively purchased multi-million dollar pieces of jewelry. Years later, claiming to suffer ‘cash flow problems,’ he tried to bully my client into undoing the transactions. M



San Diego jeweler responds to $9M lawsuit from Drew Brees

03 Apr 2018 12:11:35 -0400

Drew Brees recently signed a contract extension with the New Orleans Saints that includes $27 million guaranteed, but that is not stopping the star quarterback from pursuing a payout he believes he is owed from a jeweler.According to TMZ, Brees filed a lawsuit on Monday against Vahid Moradi, the owner of the CJ Charles jewelry shop in San Diego. In the documents, Brees claims he has spent roughly $15 million at Moradi’s store over the years buying watches, earrings and rings among other items. Brees said he was assured by Moradi that the jewelry was a good investment and would increase in value, but he apparently had his collection appraised recently and it is worth $9 million less than he paid for it.The lawsuit states that the biggest discrepancy is with a 4.09 carat blue diamond ring Brees bought in 2015 for $8.18 million in 2015. He says the item recently appraised for $3.75 million. Moradi’s attorney, Eric M. George, insists his client has done absolutely nothing wrong.“Drew Brees aggressively purchased