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HALL-OF-FAME LEVEL? Saints Future Bright If Taysom’s Really the “Next” Steve Young

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Photo Credits: New Orleans Saints and Steve Young on

By Barry Hirstius - Contributing Writer | Big Easy Magazine

Picture it in your head for a moment. Two NFL quarterbacks, one still currently playing for the New Orleans Saints and the other one who’s been retired for the past 20 years, are being compared to one another.

Although they share ironic similarities such as each are (or used to be) incredible physically-gifted athletes and both attended the same college (BYU), their differences couldn’t be more obvious — since one is a Pro Football Hall-of-Fame “living legend” and 3-time World Champion — while the other has only completed 6 passes in his entire career so far.

Nevertheless, if we are to take head coach Sean Payton at his previous word and own personal observation, current Saints back-up QB Taysom Hill possesses the passing skills that potentially could make him the “next” Steve Young, which would mean that the Black and Gold’s future could be very bright after current starter Drew Brees retires.

However, since the soon-to-be 30-year old Hill has mostly served in a very specific role thus far as an “offensive weapon” for New Orleans as both a runner and wide receiver in their high-powered offensive attack, he hasn’t thrown the ball enough times yet in the passing game to accurately gauge (in the eyes of many NFL observers and analysts) just how good (or bad) he truly can be. ...

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Saints-Anthony Chickillo contract is the latest to skirt the salary cap

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Anthony Chickillo

By John Sigler | Saintswire

The New Orleans Saints are known for using every salary cap loophole they can get their hands on, and their latest moves are no different. Former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Anthony Chickillo signed a free agent contract with the team that maintains the Saints’ salary cap flexibility.

As first reported by Nick Underhill of NewOrleans.Football, Chickillo’s one-year deal with the Saints qualifies for the veteran salary benefit. It means that he’ll count just $887,500 against this year’s salary cap, even if the Saints agreed to pay him a $910,000 base salary with a $137,500 signing bonus — for a total of $1,047,500.

This provision in the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement is designed to help teams sign veteran players to near-minimum salaries without sacrificing extra salary cap space. For cap-savvy teams like the Saints, it’s a way to load up their roster with good players without breaking the bank.

The Saints have now signed seven players to their 90-man offseason roster who qualify for this benefit, including Chickillo. And the players they’re signing aren’t just fodder for training camp: ...

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Versatile OL James Hurst hopes to contribute to Saints offense “however he can”

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By WGNO Web Desk

NEW ORLEANS, La. – The New Orleans Saints have signed former Baltimore Raven Offensive Lineman, James Hurst, on a one-year deal, waiving WR Tim White.

Over the last 6 seasons in Baltimore, Hurst started 44 games, lining up at multiple positions. He appeared in all 16 regular-season games in 2019, on a Ravens offense that broke the NFL record for most rushing yards in a season.

Hurst says he hopes to contribute to the Saints however he can, as a part of an offense he has great respect for.

James Hurst said, “So much creativity has come out of (Sean Payton’s) system. Just seeing what they’ve been able to do and seeing how I could fit in, that is exciting.” ...

Full Story - WGNO

Here’s a look at how the Saints’ summer and preseason may play out during the pandemic

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Getty Images

By Brian Allee Walsh | Sun Herald

As the 2020 calendar turns from May to June, we turn our eyes to the intersection of Trouble & Danger where the deadly COVID-19 pandemic and a potentially hyper-active hurricane season seem to be headed on a collision course.

It’s important to note that nobody -- and I repeat NOBODY, not even our country’s most celebrated coronavirus tracker, Dr. Anthony Fauci: Medicine Man, and the world’s most noted climatologist, Mother Nature -- knows what tomorrow may bring.

Oh, we have a good idea thanks to our epidemiological and meteorological experts but nothing anyone can deposit in the world bank.

With that in mind, here’s how I see the summer and start to the season potentially playing out for the New Orleans Saints, provided the NFL gets the green light and all 32 teams reach agreement on how to operate safely in a strange, new world of hygiene and distancing protocols.

▪ In June, look for Saints quarterback Drew Brees and possibly backup Jameis Winston to hook up with a passel of his receivers in San Diego, most notably veteran free agent Emmanuel Sanders. ...

Full Story - The Sun Herald

Are the New Orleans interested in Jadeveon Clowney, DE?

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By B.T. Boylan - Sports Illustrated

Jadeveon Clowney is the best EDGE RUSHER still available in the free-agent market. Reports have linked the New Orleans Saints as potential suitors for the defensive end. Last week Clowney turned down a large contract from the Browns, could Clowney go “ring chasing” with the Saints in 2020?

The former South Carolina Gamecocks standout, DE, made one thing clear during his free agency...he wants to play for a winner. Clowney received lucrative contract offers from the Seattle Seahawks and Cleveland Browns since the start of free agency in March. However, he has refused both offers from those teams.

Several rumors have the New Orleans Saints linked to Clowney. A one-year contract would bode well for both sides in 2020. For Clowney, it serves as an opportunity to increase his free-agent value and chase a Super Bowl ring. For New Orleans, this will create a dynamic duo on the edge positions. The pairing of Clowney with Cameron Jordan would give the Saints another star player in their “Super Bowl or Bust” season. ...

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Latest Saints News

A look around the NFC South on SB Nation

  • News source: JR Ella
  • Replies: 0
Defense will win it or lose it for Tampa. Despite the flashy additions of Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski, Bucs Nation’s Evan Winter still believes that Devin White and is defensive gang hold the key to Tampa Bay’s 2020-21 season.

Devonta Freeman could be headed to Tampa. The NFC South’s dealings continue, as the former Falcons running back has been officially offered a contract by the Buccaneers. There’s one thing you can say about Tampa this year: they are willing to put their money where their mouth is. Will it be enough to win the division or even contend for a...
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Saints S Malcolm Jenkins calls for charges, convictions in George Floyd killing

  • News source: BY AMIE JUST | Staff writer
  • Replies: 0
New Orleans Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins sat at his desk Wednesday, wearing a white long-sleeved T-shirt with a homemade message inscribed in all caps in black marker.

His shirt read, "Charge & convict the murderers of George Floyd!"

Floyd, a black man from Minneapolis, died Monday while a white Minneapolis police officer kneeled on the back of his neck for at least seven minutes while Floyd was handcuffed and said he struggled to breathe.

Floyd's arrest and subsequent death was recorded by a cell phone video posted to social media, inciting peaceful...
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3 Saints players whose 2020 season will be a make-or-break campaign

  • News source: Kade Kistner
  • Replies: 0
The New Orleans Saints have one of the most complete rosters in the NFL. As such, an intense level of competition will be present as players try to maintain their place on the roster this season and in the future. We have targeted three players whose 2020 season will be a type of “make-or-break” campaign in determining their future on the squad.

There has been a ton of talk this offseason regarding running back Alvin Kamara’s future. A faction of fans are calling for him to be traded after a lackluster and injury-plagued 2019. Another faction still believe that he...
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Report: Eli Apple’s deal with Panthers worth $3 million

  • News source: Josh Alper
  • Replies: 1
The Panthers announced that they have agreed to terms on a contract with cornerback Eli Apple for the 2020 season and that deal looks different than the deal Apple initially struck earlier this offseason.

Apple agreed to terms with the Raiders on a one-year deal early in free agency, but it fell apart before being finalized. Apple was set to make $6 million for the AFC West squad and his Panthers deal reportedly won’t be worth that much.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that Apple’s deal is worth $3 million. The structure of the deal includes a $750,000 signing...
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Film Study: How the Saints can work with their linebacker room

  • News source: KSkiver35
  • Replies: 0
The New Orleans Saints have underwent a complete transformation over the past few seasons. The defense is no longer the laughingstock it once was, and a big part of that has come from the revitalization of the linebacking corps. Mike Nolan completely reshaped them in the past three seasons, with Demario Davis’s addition in 2018 being a huge contribution.

Dennis Allen has also helped this transformation, using different blitzing packages and looks to keep defenses off-balance. Despite some injury issues, the Saints’ team defense has managed to stay intact. With...
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Fleur-de-Links, May 29: Former Saint signs with division rival and plans for Superdome capacity in 2020 season

  • News source: Adam Dunnells
  • Replies: 0
Officially licensed Saints face coverings are available for the first time, with partial proceeds from the sales going to the CDC Foundation.

Conference call with recently signed offensive lineman James Hurst.

Based on previous years’ stats, Alvin Kamara is on track to break the Saints franchise record for all-time leading scorer.

Former Saints cornerback Eli Apple joins former teammate Teddy Bridgewater as he signs a deal with the Carolina Panthers.

Based on numbers by BetMGM, the odds are in favor of the Saints going to the playoffs and winning between 9 and...
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Superdome’s “worst-case scenario” is 13,000 fans for Saints games

  • News source: Charean Williams
  • Replies: 2
No one knows what games are going to look like this fall. Are they going to be played without fans? Some fans? Full stadiums?

Every team likely is busy planning for everything, or anything.

The Superdome Commission, a state entity formerly known as the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District, held its monthly meeting Thursday. Stadium officials revealed they are modeling multiple contingency plans in case the NFL calls for social distancing, Sean Fazende of WVUE-TV reports.

The Superdome Commission has considered scenarios of using between 17 percent and 50...
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The Simms QB top 40 countdown, No. 33: Jameis Winston

  • News source: Mike Florio
  • Replies: 0
Five years after becoming the first overall pick in the draft, quarterback Jameis Winston no longer is a starter. And with 32 teams in the league, it’s no surprise he’s not among Chris Simms’ top 32 quarterbacks for 2020.

Winston just missed the cut. The NFL’s first 30-30 man came in at No. 33 on the list.

If he plays this year, he could go a lot higher, thanks to the tutelage of Saints coach Sean Payton. Last year, Teddy Bridgewater parlayed five starts into a $22 million annual deal with the Panthers.

Winston may not get the chance, if starter Drew Brees stays...
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13,000 fans in Superdome for Saints games? That's just one of many scenarios considered

  • News source: BY AMIE JUST | Staff writer
  • Replies: 0
With some four months to go before the New Orleans Saints regular-season home opener, officials in charge of operating the Mercedes-Benz Superdome are considering a series of changes to manage fan safety amid the coronavirus pandemic, including what could be a sharp drop in the number of people able to cheer in person.

During a monthly meeting Thursday, officials from the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District — the state entity commonly known as the Superdome Commission — said they are currently modeling multiple contingency plans should the NFL mandate social...
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Versatile Saints OL James Hurst likely to line up at tackle, using upcoming suspension as motivation

  • News source: BY AMIE JUST | Staff writer
  • Replies: 0
New-to-New Orleans offensive lineman James Hurst has been positioned all over the offensive line since his rookie days in 2014.

Left tackle. Right tackle. Left guard. Sixth offensive lineman.

The future for Hurst seems to be at tackle, he said Thursday in his first interview as a Saint.

"I've had starts at a lot of places for sure, but most of the time's been spent at tackle," Hurst said, adding he talked to Saints offensive line coach Dan Roushar on Wednesday. "(We) just talked about my versatility and how that's helpful to an offense to be able to have a guy...
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Former Saints CB Apple signs with Panthers

  • News source: Jude Young
  • Replies: 0
Former Saints cornerback Eli Apple finally has a new employer.

The Panthers announced Thursday they signed Apple to what The Athletic’s Joe Person reported is a one-year deal.

The former Giants first-round pick out of Ohio State was set to sign with the Raiders as a free agent back in March before the deal fell through. Instead, he will compete for a starting job with one of New Orleans’ NFC South rivals.

The Saints acquired Apple during the 2018 season but the 24-year old struggled in his first full season with the club in part due to injuries.
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CB Eli Apple signs with Panthers, 3rd former Saints player signed by Carolina this offseason

  • News source: BY JEFF NOWAK | Staff writer
  • Replies: 0
Former Saints cornerback Eli Apple has agreed to a deal with the Carolina Panthers, continuing an offseason trend between the NFC South foes.

The Panthers announced the deal on Thursday but the terms were not specified.

Apple is the third player to head to Carolina in free agency this season after multiple seasons in New Orleans, joining quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and wide receiver Keith Kirkwood on the Panthers roster.

He had also garnered interest from the Las Vegas Raiders but the deal eventually fell apart.

Apple, 24, was one of the top names...
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DeAndre Hopkins: I know I’m the best wide receiver in the NFL

  • News source: Michael David Smith
  • Replies: 0
Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins says he’s the top pass catcher in football, and that his numbers would dwarf those of other star receivers if he had played his entire career with an elite quarterback.

Hopkins said on ESPN that there is no doubt in his mind where he ranks.

“I definitely think I’m the best,” Hopkins said. “I know I’m the best.”

Hopkins has never led the league in catches or yards, but he said that’s a reflection of the offenses he has played in. Hopkins said he would have better numbers than Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas or Falcons...
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Eli Apple agrees to terms with Panthers

  • News source: Charean Williams
  • Replies: 0
Eli Apple has a home. Finally.

The free agent cornerback agreed in principle on terms of a one-year deal with the Raiders in late March, but the sides never could finalize the contract. So he went back on the market.

Two months later, Apple has agreed to terms with the Panthers, the team announced Thursday.

General Manager Marty Hurney said on WFNZ on Thursday that adding a veteran cornerback was a “priority.” Apple fills that need.

The Giants selected Apple with the 10th overall pick in the 2016 draft. He was traded to the Saints during the 2018 season. Apple...
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