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Identifying the top 4 Saints offseason needs entering free agency

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By John Sigler | Saintswire

How should the New Orleans Saints improve in 2021? Put another way, what are your top offseason needs for the black and gold? And how can they get better at those spots?

To find out, I surveyed the roster and took stock of each position group. Here’s my take on the top four areas of need and a few others to consider, along with some thoughts on available free agents and top draft prospects. Let’s get to it.

1. Quarterback

Under contract (3): Drew Brees, Taysom Hill, and Trevor Siemian

Free agents (1): Jameis Winston

First off, the elephant in the room: Brees is expected to retire, setting up a training camp battle between Hill and Winston (if he’s re-signed). But the Saints don’t have a long-term fix under center even if Brees does return. None of their quarterbacks are signed beyond 2021. They need an answer at the sport’s most important position. ...

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COVID-19, March 11 and the day sports stopped: Our writers share what they learned, and what's ahead

  • News source: Staff report
  • Replies: 0
Christian Clark had taken his seat in the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California, ready for the Pelicans' second stop on a promising West Coast swing.

It turned out to be their last stop. It was everybody's last stop.

It was March 11, 2020.

As tipoff time neared, the news had spread: A few hundred miles away, Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert had tested positive for the coronavirus, and their game in Oklahoma City was postponed. The NBA was shutting down.

Initially, the Pelicans and Kings were to play the NBA's final game before the shutdown. They then bailed altogether — and just like...
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Rod Walker: While sports were gone amid COVID-19, a nation started some difficult conversations

  • News source: BY ROD WALKER | Staff writer
  • Replies: 0
When sports came to a screeching halt March 11, 2020, we really didn't know what to do.

We realized how much the games had consumed our time.

Suddenly, getting from one Friday to the next felt more like getting from one month to the next.

Watching "The Last Dance," the 10-part documentary on Michael Jordan, got us through those tough times.

We could no longer hear the sound of basketballs bouncing, or baseballs pinging off aluminum bats, or fans screaming "you're awful!" to the referees.

But the sports stoppage did allow for us to hear people in this country pleading for help.

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Luke Johnson: Give the NFL credit. As COVID-19 raged, the league made it all the way through

  • News source: BY LUKE JOHNSON | Staff writer
  • Replies: 0
When the sporting world shut down last March, I mostly shrugged my shoulders.

We’d just wrapped up covering the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis. At most, I figured the NFL would conduct its draft remotely in April, and maybe we wouldn’t be able to cover rookie camp and minicamps in May. But everything else would be normal by the time the season started. We’d lucked out.

That, of course, didn’t happen. As I spent day after day within the borders of my house, nonchalance quickly turned to doubt. By May, my colleagues and I had a conversation about the uncertainty of the upcoming...
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Energy shift a threat to Louisiana, global warming not as much, says New Orleans Power Poll

  • News source: BY DREW BROACH | Staff writer
  • Replies: 0
If Louisiana is counting on surviving the transition from oil and gas to renewable energy without major economic damage, it might be drilling a dry hole, according to The Times-Picayune Power Poll. Two thirds of Power Poll members put the state's chances at even to very poor.

"We have a partisan Legislature that is less concerned about providing for future growth than ... about appeasing a national right wing narrative," said Jeff Thomas, publisher of Think504. "We have opportunities to lead in the transformation from fossil fuels dependency to cleaner, greener infrastructure. This would...
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NFL Draft: Smaller, faster, quicker becoming the trend at wide receiver

  • News source: Al Dupuy
  • Replies: 0
A new trend is developing in the NFL at the wide receiver position. It is a copycat league.

Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill 5 at 5-9 ½ and 180 pounds is almost too fast and shifty to cover so the trend is going to smaller fast wide receivers.

The 2021 NFL draft is full of these type receivers.

No. 1 rated Ja’Marr Chase out of LSU is 6-0 with 4.40 speed so I would not say he quite fits the mold but he was the best receiver in college football in 2019 and then opted-out in 2020. He gets separation deep, has consistent hands and shows both excellent vertical ability and body control...
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Saints free agency primer: New Orleans ready to usher in a new era at tight end

  • News source: BY LUKE JOHNSON | Staff writer
  • Replies: 0
The start of NFL free agency is right around the corner (March 17), and that means we should soon start to get an idea for the shape of the New Orleans Saints roster.

Tthis promises to be an offseason of change for the Saints, who have already navigated some coaching staff turnover. They might be debuting a new starter under center for the first time since 2006 and will likely be faced with some tough roster decisions to get under the salary cap.

With that in mind, here is a position-by-position look at who the Saints have under contract, who from their 2020 team is a free agent, and how...
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Saints special-teamer J.T. Gray aims to leave his mark in New Orleans after extension

  • News source: BY LUKE JOHNSON | Staff writer
  • Replies: 0
J.T. Gray didn’t have to think too hard when presented a two-year contract extension to remain with the New Orleans Saints.

This was where he first made his name as a professional football player, and this is where he wanted to stay.

“Sometimes the grass is greener on the other side,” Gray said Friday. “But with me, I made the decision to just stay here and leave my mark here."

Gray was set to be the Saints’ lone restricted free agent this offseason. His new contract will pay him $4 million over the course of the deal with $2 million guaranteed. Gray will earn $1 million in guaranteed...
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Most prototypical New Orleans Saints wide receiver options in the 2021 NFL Draft

  • News source: Ross.Jackson
  • Replies: 0
When it comes to drafting at the wide receiver position, the New Orleans Saints have a type. Since 2006, the Saints have selected only nine wideouts in the NFL Draft. Of those receivers only one was under the six-foot mark and only two weighed less than 200 pounds.

To get a look at which receivers in the 2021 draft may fit the Saints’ preferred physical profile, I averaged out some key factors that could be used to pinpoint an ideal fit.

The most obvious components to consider were height (listed below in inches) and weight as referenced above. But to add a bit more detail, I also took a...
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Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah is the best linebacker in the 2021 NFL Draft.

  • News source: Dylan Sanders
  • Replies: 0
The Notre Dame product has been picking up steam as of late, and for good reason. You may have only heard Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons name at the top, however I believe that Day 1 of the NFL Draft Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah will be the best linebacker.

The New Orleans Saints defense saw a new life in the linebacker room with the addition of Kwon Alexander. Owusu-Koramoah offers everything you get in Alexander and more. He has the pure coverage skills of a defensive back, combined with the tackling skills of a top linebacker. His draft stock ranges all around the first day, mainly due...
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Deonte Harris proved he needs a larger role with the Saints in 2021

  • News source: Kade Kistner
  • Replies: 0
Deonte Harris had a breakout rookie season in 2019, and that is putting it lightly. The undrafted free agent made the Pro Bowl as a kick return specialist, and after his spectacular debut, the thoughts and eyes turned towards what he could be for the franchise. His speed, talent and character all embodied exactly what the New Orleans Saints were after. As such, it came as no surprise when talk about the expansion of his role arose this past offseason.

Harris is a talented player, and what New Orleans lacked in a deep threat they saw in Harris. The start of the 2020 season saw Harris’ role...
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Amie Just: March 11, 2020, started like any other day. It ended like no other day.

  • News source: BY AMIE JUST | Staff writer
  • Replies: 0
March 11, 2020, was all-in-all a normal day. At least that’s how it started out.

I had a follow-up doctor’s appointment regarding a recent knee surgery. Then we had a staff meeting on NFL free agency and the Saints offseason. We met at La Boulangerie on Magazine Street over lunch.

In a meeting that last more than an hour, we spent maybe five minutes — if that — discussing the relatively new coronavirus. Even then, we only discussed how it might affect my upcoming flight to the NFL owners meeting in Palm Beach, Florida (the NFL announced the next day that those meetings were canceled)...
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Walker: Thomas Morstead ambushed the hearts of Saints' fans in a way punters rarely can

  • News source: BY ROD WALKER | Staff writer
  • Replies: 0
It's not often that you'll read a farewell column about a punter.

But Thomas Morstead, as he's shown us for the past 12 seasons, isn't just a punter.

He is much more than that, both to the New Orleans Saints and the city they play in.

It's why there was a somberness among many in the Who Dat Nation on Thursday when it was announced the Saints were letting Morstead go.

Perhaps teammate Cam Jordan summed it up best for everybody.

"It won't be the same," Jordan tweeted.

Simply put, Morstead was not only a fan favorite, but also a teammate favorite and a media favorite, something that's...
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Saints fans, teammates, others react to Thomas Morstead's release: 'It won't be the same'

  • News source: BY JEFF NOWAK | Staff writer
  • Replies: 0
This week's New Orleans Saints bombshell: Thomas Morstead is no longer on the roster.

The longtime punter who notably knocked the ball off the tee for the "ambush" onside kick to start the second half of the Saints' Super Bowl victory was released Thursday, the team announced.

The news came amid a slew of offseason maneuvers as the Saints look to climb under the salary cap before the 2021 season, but that didn't lessen the shock as one of the team's most identifiable players was set to continue his career elsewhere. Morstead said he doesn't plan to retire, and will continue to be active...
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Saints promote Ronald Curry to QBs coach

  • News source: Myles Simmons
  • Replies: 0
The Saints announced their 2021 coaching staff on Thursday, notably promoting Ronald Curry to quarterbacks coach.

Curry has been with New Orleans since 2016, first serving as an offensive assistant before his promotion to wide receivers coach in 2018. He’s replacing Joe Lombardi, who left the organization to become the Chargers’ offensive coordinator.

Curry played seven seasons as a receiver for the Raiders from 2002-2008, making 193 receptions for 2,347 yards with 13 touchdowns.

The Saints also promoted Brendan Nugent to offensive line coach from assistant offensive line coach. He...
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