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New Orleans Saints among four teams interested in signing Nick Easton

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(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

By Matthew Beighle | Whodatdish

The New Orleans Saints may have just released Nick Easton, but they view the offensive lineman’s value high enough to potentially re-sign him.

While it may be an odd situation, the Saints are one of the four teams that have had preliminary discussions” with guard Nick Easton.

The team recently released Easton, saving about $6 million in cap space. It should be understood that, while it’d be a seven-figure contract for Easton, he wouldn’t return for as much as he would’ve made had he not been released.

ESPN’s Josina Anderson was the one to report that the Saints have an interest in bringing their former guard back. While he noted that four teams were interested, she didn’t say which other three were involved in the talks. ...

Full Story - Whodatdish

Will the franchise tag be in play for Trey Hendrickson, Marcus Williams?

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By John Sigler | Saintswire

It’s been a while since the New Orleans Saints have used the franchise tag to lock in a pending free agent. They’ve issued it just three times since 2007: on defensive end Charles Grant; again in 2012, on quarterback Drew Brees; and most infamously in 2014, for tight end Jimmy Graham (whose position was defined during a dramatic arbitration hearing). Feb. 23 marks the opening of the franchise tag window, which closes March 9.

The Saints have run tight against the salary cap in the years since and, frankly, haven’t had many free agents worth issuing the franchise tag to. But circumstances are different in 2021. Several key defenders are set to hit the market, losses which would be tough for New Orleans to recover from — it sure feels like either the team’s sack leader, Trey Hendrickson, or every-down safety Marcus Williams are on the way out.

Maybe things would be different if the salary cap had continued to climb year over year, but the COVID-19 pandemic hit the NFL just like every other industry, and now the cap is depressing. It’ll go no lower than $180 million, but that’s still an $18.2 million pitfall for the Saints to overcome. While issuing the franchise tag to Hendrickson or Williams would buy some time for the Saints to negotiate a long-term deal (or use another team’s interest to set a market value for the player), the hefty, fully-guaranteed salary it brings with it might make that untenable. ...

Full Story - Saintswire - USA Today

Saints WR Tre'Quan Smith earns proven performance escalator for 2021

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By John Sigler | Saintswire

The new NFL collective bargaining agreement included a fourth-year proven performance escalator for rookie contracts, which rewards players who weren’t selected in the first round for earning more snaps over their first three years in the league. And that’s great news for New Orleans Saints wideout Tre’Quan Smith, who is set to receive a nice pay raise in 2021 after triggering the Level One escalator.

Because Smith, a 2018 third round pick, has played more than 35% of snaps in each of his first three seasons, his base salary is going to jump from $950,000 to an estimated $2,133,000; an increase of about $1.183 million. The exact amount won’t be set until the NFL establishes how much this year’s restricted free agent tenders are valued, but Smith’s salary is going to at least double based off that projection.

It also slightly raises his salary cap from $1,124,256 up to over $2.3 million. He’s in the final year of his rookie contract so that isn’t likely to get on New Orleans’ radar as a potential overspend, even if they are currently standing $68 million or so over the projected cap. They have bigger fish to fry. ...

Full Story - Saintswire - USA Today

Sheldon Rankins proud of Saints accomplishments, excited for free agency

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By John Sigler | Saintswire

Sheldon Rankins is excited for the future. The New Orleans Saints defensive tackle has seen the full spectrum of highs and lows in black and gold: dominant playoff wins and crushing losses, great personal success in the trenches and painful, season-ending injuries. With free agency on the horizon, he took a moment to look back on how he got here during an interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio.

“When I first got there, to be completely honest, we were a laughing stock,” Rankins reflected. “People said, ‘Well, Drew (Brees is) going to have to outscore everybody.’ That’s pretty much how everybody looked at us.” ...

Full Story - Saintswire - USA Today

Latest Saints News

Sheldon Rankins feels he’s recovered bounce in his step after two Achilles injuries

  • News source: Josh Alper
  • Replies: 0
Saints defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins is headed into free agency for the first time and he knows that his health is a question that teams will have this season.

Rankins tore his left Achilles in the 2018 playoffs and then had surgery on his right Achilles the next year to prevent another tear. He returned to play 12 games in 2020, but wasn’t playing at the same level he was at before the first injury.

During an appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio, Rankins said that he felt all the way back from his left Achilles injury during the season but was still bothered by the right side. After more...
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C.J. Gardner-Johnson explodes in sophomore season

  • News source: BrendenErtle
  • Replies: 0
Ceedy Duce a/k/a Chauncey Gardner, Jr. a/k/a C.J. Gardner-Johnson - whatever you want to call him - exploded onto the scene in his second season with the New Orleans Saints. A former fourth round pick from the University of Florida in 2019, Gardner-Johnson started as a special teams role player in year one, and quickly flashed to become a full-time starter in his second season.

CJGJ had career numbers this season, tallying 66 tackles with 52 solo tackles, 5 tackles for loss, an interception and 13 pass defended. He stepped into a starting spot in the nickel position, and in today’s NFL...
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With all signs pointing to Drew Brees retiring, will he actually retire?

  • News source: Mike Florio
  • Replies: 0
Three weeks ago today, Saints coach Sean Payton said on PFT Live that the team expected an announcement from quarterback Drew Brees regarding his future within a week or a week and a half.

The silence from Brees has become deafening. All signs continue to point to retirement, with the biggest piece of evidence being a new contract that slashed his 2021 salary by nearly $24 million in order to allow the Saints to carry a reduced cap number until June 2, at which time his retirement would be processed in order to split the cap charge over two years, 2021 and 2022.

Per the NFL, the Saints...
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Malcom Brown contributed greatly to one of the league’s best run defenses in 2020

  • News source: Andrew_Bell
  • Replies: 0
Saints defensive tackle Malcom Brown did what he’s done his entire career in 2020 — stuff gaps and clog up space in the run game.

The 320-pound brute out of Texas University did so much against the run this year that went unnoticed because he isn’t the flashy pass rusher that excites everyone. He’s a two-down player who fills gaps and eats up double teams on early downs, and pushes the pocket on play action passes.

And while the value might not be there for a guy with a role like this, compared to a pass rusher racking up pressures and sacks, the fact remains that he did a hell of a job...
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Saints 2021 offseason preview: Defensive backs

  • News source: Hayden Reel
  • Replies: 0
The Saints secondary had one of their better years in recent memory in 2020. They finished as a top-5 passing defense for the first time since 2013, and finished tied for first in the NFL in interceptions with 18. Malcolm Jenkins returned to the team that drafted him after six years with the Philadelphia Eagles, and tied the team lead in interceptions with 3. Marcus Williams and Janoris Jenkins also intercepted 3 passes, while Marshon Lattimore and Patrick Robinson managed to get 2 each. Former Gator C.J. Gardner-Johnson continued to make great strides as well, playing the fifth most snaps...
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Daring moves for all 32 NFL teams in the 2021 offseason

  • News source: - New Orleans Saints
  • Replies: 0
Each NFL team's offseason is filled with small moves and marginal personnel decisions. Sometimes, that series of small moves will build a winner. But a big, bold move always helps, by dramatically improving talent at an important position or changing the overall direction of the franchise. Here, Football Outsiders is suggesting a bold move for each team. Some of these are realistic, others are more far-fetched, but each would provide a significant change and improve a team's chances of winning future Super Bowls.

There will be references to Football Outsiders' DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value...
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Fleur-de-Links, February 24: Drew Brees was supposed to meet with Tiger Woods before Woods’s accident

  • News source: Adam Dunnells
  • Replies: 0
Officially licensed Saints face coverings are now available, with a new, more protective design.

Sheldon Rankins speaks on his tenure with the New Orleans Saints.

A look at three different players that could replace Marcus Williams when Williams enters free agency in 2021.

When Tiger Woods crashed his vehicle on February 23rd, he was reportedly on his way to meet with Drew Brees and Justin Herbert.

Answering how the Saints could structure contracts to keep Marcus Williams in 2021.

While the Saints are reportedly interested in re-signing Nick Easton, Easton reportedly has three other...
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Report: Four teams expressing interest in Nick Easton, including Saints

  • News source: Curtis Crabtree
  • Replies: 0
Veteran offensive lineman Nick Easton has drawn interest from four teams after his release from the New Orleans Saints two weeks ago, according to NFL reporter Josina Anderson.

Easton was cut by the Saints in a salary cap move as they were well over the cap. However, the Saints are one of the four teams interested in Easton and could seek a reunion once they get their financials in order.

Easton made nine starts in 12 games played for the Saints last season. He appeared in 52 percent of the team’s offensive snaps, according to Pro-Football-Reference. He’s played in 22 games over the last...
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Bond request next for man who shot Will Smith

  • News source: - New Orleans Saints
  • Replies: 0
NEW ORLEANS -- A lawyer for the man who fatally shot former NFL star Will Smith in 2016 said Tuesday that he'll seek the man's release on bond now that a Louisiana appeals court has officially vacated his manslaughter conviction by a non-unanimous jury.

Cardell Hayes has long insisted he fired in self-defense when he shot Smith during a confrontation following a traffic crash. At trial, the jury in 2016 voted 10-2 to convict Hayes of manslaughter in Smith's death and attempted manslaughter in the wounding of Smith's wife.

However, the U.S. Supreme Court later declared such non-unanimous...
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Report: Tiger Woods was on way to meet Justin Herbert, Drew Brees

  • News source: Charean Williams
  • Replies: 0
Tiger Woods was on his way to meet NFL quarterbacks Drew Brees and Justin Herbert when he crashed his car in a rollover accident in the Los Angeles area Tuesday, Shelley Smith of ESPN reports.

Woods reportedly was running late for a scheduled photo shoot with Brees and Herbert, who were playing golf.

Woods underwent hours of surgery on multiple leg injuries at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.

He spent the weekend as host of the Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club, though he didn’t play in the tournament. Woods, 45, stayed in town reportedly to shoot a project with Discovery Networks...
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Tiger Woods was running late to meet up with Saints QB Drew Brees before crash: reports

  • News source: BY AMIE JUST | Staff writer
  • Replies: 0
Golf star Tiger Woods was on his way to meet up with New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees and Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert before Woods crashed his vehicle in a rollover accident in the Los Angeles area Tuesday morning, according to multiple reports.

Woods was reportedly running late to have a photo shoot with Brees and Herbert while the quarterbacks played golf, according to Bret Baier of Fox News, before the accident. Woods was taken to the hospital by ambulance and needed surgery after he sustained leg injuries.

ESPN's Shelley Smith also reported the news...
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Sheldon Rankins opens up on free agency and his injury history in radio interview

  • News source: BY LUKE JOHNSON | Staff writer
  • Replies: 0
For the first time in his professional football career, Sheldon Rankins is about to be able to choose where he continues his career.

Rankins, whom the New Orleans Saints selected in the first round of the 2016 draft, is keeping an open, positive mind as he prepares to enter free agency. In an interview with SiriusXM NFL radio, he spoke about his confidence that he will return to his dominant pre-injury form, and about his understanding that he may be playing for a different NFL team next season.

“It is what it is. I’m taking it all in stride,” Rankins said. “I don’t think I’m — I’m not...
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Michael Burton is one of the most underappreciated Saints

  • News source: Wallace Delery
  • Replies: 0
Fullback has been a vanishing position in the NFL for decades now. Long gone are the days of Tom Rathman or Mike Alstott being vital parts of offenses, but Sean Payton still has a place for these dying breeds, and Michael Burton has been the latest in a long line of solid contributing fullbacks, following Mike Karney, Heath Evans, Jed Collins, and Zach Line. Despite a camp/preseason appearance with the team in 2019, Burton completed his first full season with the New Orleans Saints in 2020. Much like his predecessors, his season wasn't spectacular, but it was solid.

Burton’s primary...
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Building a contract to keep Marcus Williams with the New Orleans Saints

  • News source: Ross.Jackson
  • Replies: 0
With free agency and the new league year less than a month away, the New Orleans Saints have some key in-house free agents heading for the open market. Particularly, on the defensive side. In our ‘Build a contract” series, we’ll take a look at what it would take to match the estimated market value for a handful of outgoing Saints without breaking the bank in the upcoming 2021 year.

To start, we’ll take a look at safety Marcus Williams. Williams has one of the more resilient and tumultuous tenures in the Big Easy thanks to the unfortunate Minneapolis Miracle in the 2017 season, his rookie...
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