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Saints sign OL Easton to replace Unger

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Photo - Twincities.com

By Mike Triplett | ESPN Staff Writer

METAIRIE, La. -- The New Orleans Saints have a new leading contender for their starting center vacancy.

The Saints agreed to a four-year, $24 million contract with former Minnesota Vikings guard/center Nick Easton, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter.

The agreement comes one day after news broke that the Saints' Pro Bowl center Max Unger is retiring, and the Saints plan to play Easton at center, according to the source. Easton, 26, missed all of last season because of surgery to repair a herniated disk in his neck. But he started a total of 17 games at both guard and center for the Vikings in 2016 and 2017.

The 6-foot-3, 303-pounder began his career as a popular undrafted center out of Harvard in 2015. He originally signed with the Baltimore Ravens, then was traded to the San Francisco 49ers that September and traded to the Vikings that October. ...

Full Story - ESPN.com

Saints sign former Vikings offensive lineman Nick Easton to replace Max Unger

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By Nick Underhill | The Advocate

The New Orleans Saints have signed Nick Easton to a four-year, $24 million deal, his agency announced Sunday, signaling a move that will likely fill the void left by center Max Unger.

Amid the news of Unger announcing his retirement, New Orleans showed interest in Easton, a former Minnesota Vikings lineman who missed last season because of a neck injury but has shown the versatility to play across the interior offensive line.

While Easton predominantly played guard in 2017, he logged more than 300 snaps at center in 2016.

Other than Easton, the Saints have Will Clapp and two-year veteran Cameron Tom as the only centers on the roster. ...

Full Story - The Advocate

Saints to sign offensive lineman Nick Easton, who has experience starting at center

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By Josh Katzenstein, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

The New Orleans Saints wasted no time finding a center with starting experience after Max Unger retired from the NFL on Saturday (March 16).

Nick Easton, formerly of the Minnesota Vikings, agreed to a four-year deal with the Saints on Sunday night (March 17), according to a tweet from his representation JL Sports.

According to ESPN, the four-year contract is worth $24 million, a price that certainly indicates the Saints think Easton could start immediately.


Full Story - NOLA.com

PFF: Will Clapp, Cameron Tom didn't impress in 2018

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By John Sigler | Saintswire

The New Orleans Saints were caught unawares when longtime center Max Unger opted to retire days into the free agency signing period. That sent the team into a flurry of motion, evaluating free agents and doubling down on draft prospects. The two options on the roster to replace Unger have been pointed to often by fans, but Pro Football Focus grading suggests a steep learning curve for both Cameron Tom and Will Clapp. For what it’s worth, Unger himself graded out as a receding talent the last few years:


Full Story - Saintswire - USA Today

NFL players tackle big issues while working on Capitol Hill

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By James Brown, Alvin Patrick | CBS News

NFL players Michael Thomas, Austin Carr and Ryan Hunter are used to running, blocking or catching for a living. But for the last couple of weeks, they have been running around the halls of Congress, tackling the big issues facing the country.

"I've been fortunate to sit in on meetings with foreign policy administrators from the Middle East, whether it be constituents from the state of Missouri and the city of Kansas City, St. Louis," said Hunter, an offensive lineman for the Kansas City Chiefs. He's interning for freshman Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri.

"This is fun because we're both new together. So Ryan's new, I'm new. We're kind of learning the ropes together," said Hawley, a Republican. "I think it's phenomenal that NFL players like Ryan, who are very busy guys and have a career that they're pursuing, want to be involved in their communities, want to be involved in service."

Full Story -- CBS News

Report: Nick Easton to decide between Saints, Vikings

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By John Sigler | Saintswire

The New Orleans Saints are in a tight spot at center. Max Unger retired after ten seasons in the NFL, four of them in New Orleans. His backups, Cameron Tom and Will Clapp, don’t have strong resumes to replace him. The free agent market isn’t very strong, and while this is a great draft class for centers, the Saints may have bigger fish to fry with just one draft pick in the first four rounds. The good news is that they’re a finalist for the services of Minnesota Vikings starter Nick Easton.

Easton met with the Saints shortly after the free agency signing period kicked off. Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported that Easton counts the Saints among his top options, along with the Vikings and an unnamed third...

Drew Brees selected for ESPN's 'World Fame 100'

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By John Sigler | Saintswire

Football is the most popular sport in America, but it’s a niche interest compared to other sports around the world. Baseball, basketball, soccer, and cricket draw bigger global followings, and it’s sometimes humbling to see just how football compares to those other professional spots.

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is a household name in America, and one of the most-respected players in the NFL. But when stacked up against the world’s elite athletes, he clocked in at No. 71 in ESPN’s ‘World Fame 100’.

Full Story - Saintswire - USA Today

Dolphins reach agreement with Ryan Fitzpatrick, reportedly on a two-year deal

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By Cindy Boren | Washington Post

For Miami, Ryan Tannehill is out, Ryan Fitzpatrick is in.

Fitzpatrick, the man behind Fitzmagic last season in Tampa Bay, has reached agreement with the Dolphins, who last week traded Tannehill to the Tennessee Titans after seven seasons. The Dolphins met with Teddy Bridgewater last week, but he chose to re-sign with the New Orleans Saints. According to ESPN, Fitzpatrick agreed to a two-year deal.

With Jameis Winston suspended three games at the start of the 2018 season for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy, Fitzpatrick was the starter and passed for eight touchdowns in winning the first two games. He then threw three touchdown passes — and...

Mike Detillier: Trying to fill the Saints’ key needs

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By Mike Detillier / Sports Correspondent

Since hiring New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton in 2006, Saints general manager/executive Vice-President Mickey Loomis has always used veteran free agency to fill as many obvious needs on the team as possible and leave some room at draft time to pick the best player on the board.

In late January on a special edition of the “Saints Coaches Show” on WWL 870 AM, Loomis addressed the question if anything had changed in that philosophy since the Saints at the present only had one selection in the first few rounds due to trades for defensive end Marcus Davenport, quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and cornerback Eli Apple.

“We have had good success with that mind frame to address the needs we feel we can through free agency and where there is always a lot of discussion on picking a need or the best player, we try and go after the best player we can get through the draft that fits what we are looking for,” Loomis said. “Every team has needs because your team changes from year to year personnel wise and there are always positions you need to get better at and this is a very physical game and sometimes you have to replace veteran players because of injuries or retirement. The other area we pay close attention to is our special teams. Games today are very close and so...

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