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NFLPA: Saints have more than $11.7M in salary cap space

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By John Sigler | Saints Wire

It’s training camp season in the NFL, with all 32 teams steadily seeing rookies and veterans begin to report for work after a long summer break. It’s also an opportunity for teams to finalize contract extensions and bring in free agents on last-minute signings.

Per the latest public salary cap report from the NFL Players Association, the New Orleans Saints have over $11.7 million to work with. Specifically, the Saints are listed with $11,734,543, but also with 91 spots filled on a 90-man roster. That discrepancy is probably due to a delay in minor contracts with rookie free agents being processed, which is common this time of the year. Once any remaining moves are approved, the Saints’ number should see a slight bump of no more than $500,000.

Full Story - Saints Wire - USA Today

Who makes the cut? Predicting the Saints’ 53-man roster for the 2019 opener

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By Brian Allee Walsh - Special to the Sun Herald

Though the first bead of sweat has yet to drop for the New Orleans Saints, it’s never too early to predict the 53-man roster leaving training camp in late August.

Talk about a crapshoot. But, what better way to kick off the start of camp Friday than to stargaze and decide who stays and who goes after more than two dozen practices (two against the Los Angeles Chargers) and four preseason games.

One important disclaimer. The 53-man roster that Saints officials will release by 3 p.m. on Aug. 31 likely will not be the same 53 leading up to their season opener against Houston the night of Sept. 9 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Full Story - The Sun Herald

New Orleans Saints look like a team capable of big things

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John DeShazier | Senior Writer - NewOrleansSaints.com

Possibly, the New Orleans Saints will enter the 2019 season with the most formidable team assembled during the Sean Payton era. And with good reason, they are among the favorites to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl, and to win it.

Show me the lie.

The reason that the Saints, who tied a franchise record with 13 regular-season victories last season and reeled off a 10-game winning streak, wear the bull's-eye isn’t that New Orleans has won the last two NFC South Division titles.

It’s not because they brim with incentive, given that last two seasons have concluded in two of the most bizarre endings in NFL playoff history. The loss to the Vikings happened on the final play of regulation in their NFC Divisional Playoff game following the 2017 season, and, well, everyone knows how the overtime defeat to the Rams in the NFC Championship Game came about. No need to rehash the details.

Full Story - NewOrleansSaints.com

Eighth Annual Saints “Kickoff Run 5K” presented by Chevron Open for Registration

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NewOrleansSaints.com

The New Orleans Saints and Easy Day Sports announced today that online registration for the 2019 SAINTS KICKOFF RUN 5K presented by Chevron is now open at http://saints5k.com. The eighth annual 5K (3.1 miles) race will take place on Saturday, September 7, two days before the Saints open the regular season on Monday night, hosting the Houston Texans. The SAINTS KICKOFF RUN 5K is an extremely popular event, with over 5,000 people participating annually. The beneficiaries of the Saints Kickoff Run 5K presented by Chevron will be the New Orleans Mission (NOM) and Young Leadership Council (YLC). New Orleans Mission is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) Christian Humanitarian organization dedicated to relieving human suffering. NOM combats poverty, hunger, homelessness, exploitation, and oppression with the provision of food, clothing, shelter, medical care and other basic necessities of life. Young Leadership Council (YLC) is a 501(c)(3) New Orleans-based nonprofit organization that, through volunteer-led community projects, develops young professionals into leaders and positively impacts the quality of life in the region.

Full Story - NewOrleansSaints.com

Report: Gap narrowing in Saints, Michael Thomas contract talks

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By John Sigler | Saints Wire

Back in June, it was reported that the New Orleans Saints hoped to iron out a contract extension with wide receiver Michael Thomas before the team gathered for its July 25 training camp start date. So it’s reasonable to expect gears to start moving and negotiations to pick up once the calendar lurches towards that self-imposed deadline.

Per a report from Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports, that’s exactly what’s happening. Robinson reported that the Saints offered Thomas a deal worth $18-$19 million per year, a slight bump up from their proposal back in June at just $18 million per year. Robinson also reports that while Thomas has backed down from his initial request of $22 million per year, he still wants to be the first NFL receiver to earn $20 million per season.

Full Story - Saints Wire - USA Today

Emmanuel Butler re-joins Saints after passing physical

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By James Parks | 247 Sports

One wide receiver’s time away from the team didn’t last very long.

New Orleans Saints undrafted rookie Emmanuel Butler passed his physical examination after initially being put on the non football injury list and has re-joined the team, the NFL’s transaction wire report revealed.

Butler was originally placed on the NFI list in a pair of transactions that also saw the team put rookie defensive end Carl Granderson on the did not report list after he was sentenced to six months in jail in a Wyoming court recently.

Butler played in 45 games during his five-year career at Northern Arizona, finishing with 187 receptions for 3,217 yards (17.2 avg.) and 33 touchdowns.

Full Story - 247 Sports

Saints won't win the NFC South or return to NFC title game, USA Today columnist predicts

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By Staff | The Advocate / Picayune

The New Orleans Saints aren't returning to the NFC Championship game in 2019. And they're just barely going to sneak into the playoffs. That, according to USA Today's annual NFL predictions from columnist Nate Davis.

The publication pegs New Orleans with a 10-6 record, finishing second in the division to the 11-5 Atlanta Falcons and just ahead of the 8-8 Carolina Panthers.

"Can veteran group overcome consecutive playoff heartbreaks to take the Super Bowl step now," Davis asks in his evaluation of the Saints.

Full Story - NOLA.com

What if Saints, Michael Thomas don't reach new contract by deadline?

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By John Sigler | Saints Wire

It was reported in June that the New Orleans Saints hope to sign wide receiver Michael Thomas to a contract extension before training camp kicks off on Thursday, July 25. That makes perfect sense; Thomas is exactly the kind of player teams want to invest in, having accomplished everything the Saints asked of him through his first three years in the NFL.

Thomas, a 2018 first-team All-Pro, has rewritten franchise and league records in both volume (321 career receptions, so far) and efficiency (77 percent catch rate in his career) as the ideal lead receiver for quarterback Drew Brees. And at just 26 years of age, Thomas might have another 10 years still ahead of him. Who better to pair with a young heir to Brees, whether it’s Teddy Bridgewater or someone else?

Full Story - Saints Wire - USA Today

The top New Orleans Saints free agent players in 2020

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By James Parks | 247 Sports

The defending NFC South champion New Orleans Saints are already in the midst of what has been a busy offseason, but 2020 should bring some more business their way again.

After the coming season, the Saints will find themselves looking to orchestrate some new contracts with a number of marquee players on both sides of the ball.

Each move the team has made already will reflect in some way on the decisions they will have to make in the future, which means keeping their current players at the front of their mind.

Here is a look at the top 10 free agents the Saints will have in 2020.

Full Story - 247 Sports

New Orleans Saints head to training camp with star power, few holes; here are factors to watch

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By Herbie Teope | The Advocate / Picayune

he early-summer pageantry of Saints players practicing in shorts and no pads during organized team activities and mandatory minicamp is in the rear-view mirror.

Now, it’s time to temper past enthusiasm on who looked good wearing shells in no-contact drills throughout the install phase of the offseason workout program.

The true assessment period during the march to the regular season begins in less than a week on July 26 when the Saints kick off training camp, where players have a total of 15 padded practices to show the Saints coaching staff what they learned from OTAs.

“Every year since I’ve been here, there’s something about the pads that defined certain players that had it not been for the pads, then you might not have seen their talents,” coach Sean Payton said during last month’s mandatory minicamp. “So, we’re slow to evaluate that way, but quick to evaluate if someone has trouble or can’t learn.”

Full Story - NOLA.com

2019 New Orleans Saints training camp preview: Cornerback

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Will the Saints secondary avoid a repeat of their 2018 early season letdown?

By Bob Rose | Canal Street Chronicles

The New Orleans Saints came into the 2018 season with the thought that they had one of the better cornerback corps in the league. Marshon Lattimore was coming off Defensive Rookie of the Year honors and a Pro Bowl bid, Ken Crawley seemed to be a solid number two compliment, P.J. Williams looked like a potentially competent slot corner, and the Saints had brought back former 1st round draft pick Patrick Robinson. The Saints instead began the '18 season with their pass defense getting embarrassed against Tampa Bay in the season opener, then again two weeks later against rival Atlanta, giving up a combined 88 points, 776 passing yards, and 9 touchdowns through the air in the two contests. Crawley regressed badly, and would eventually be benched. Williams' play was nearly as bad, and Robinson went down with a...

What kind of contract will the Saints offer Michael Thomas?

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By James Parks | 247 Sports

Michael Thomas is currently projected to play the final year of his rookie contract with the New Orleans Saints, but it’s expected he’ll have a long term deal before then.

The wide receiver is expected to sign a massive long term contract extension before the Saints open up training camp, a deal that could dramatically affect the market at his position.

Now, the only question that remains is: What kind of deal will the player actually sign?

If the experts are correct, Thomas could make NFL history with his new contract.

Thomas is currently commanding an annual salary of $20.4 million and should put his name to a five year contract worth $102,331,350, according to the calculations of Spotrac.

There are four wide receivers that currently have contracts worth more than $80 million in total value: Odell Beckham Jr. ($90 million), Mike Evans ($82.5 million), DeAndre Hopkins ($81 million), and Brandin Cooks ($81 million), while three others have deals worth over $70 million (Stefon Diggs, Jarvis Landry, and Julio Jones).

Full Story - 247 Sports

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