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Saints' Max Unger on retirement: 'Didn't think I could make it through another season'

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By Rod Walker | The Advocate

Simply put, Max Unger's soon-to-be 33-year old body couldn't go any longer.

After 10 seasons in the NFL, including four with the New Orleans Saints, the Pro Bowl center had to call it quits.

Unger spoke to the media Monday, two days after the surprising announcement that he was retiring from the game that has been such an important part of his life since his freshman year of high school.

"At the end of the day, I guess I'm retiring because I didn't think I could make it through another season," said Unger, who turns 33 in April. "I've had health issues. At the end of the day, you kind of evaluate how you're playing and where you see life after football going."

Full Story - The Advocate

Drew Brees’ latest play: selling burgers from a shipping container

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By Todd A. Price, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees has put more money in the restaurant business with an investment in Smalls Sliders, a new fast-food burger joint.

Smalls, according to a press release, will be "focusing exclusively on craveable, premium slider burgers as the main dish." All meals will be cooked to order in an open kitchen.

Full Story - NOLA.com

Mark Ingram intrigued by playing with Lamar Jackson

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By Herbie Teope - Around the NFL Writer | NFL.com

Running back Mark Ingram arrives in Baltimore with two 1,000-yard rushing campaigns on his eight-year career while with the New Orleans Saints.

The powerfully built 5-foot-9, 215-pound rusher entertained returning to New Orleans and reportedly drew interest from the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers before electing to sign with the Ravens.

So, why decide on Baltimore? Turns out Ingram was thoroughly "a thousand percent" attracted to playing with quarterback Lamar Jackson and the Ravens' run-heavy offense.

"That was very interesting and something that really caught my attention," Ingram told reporters during Friday's introductory news conference. "To have the opportunity to be in an offense that runs the ball and have Lamar with his run-pass option...

Saints' locker room takes big hit losing Ingram, Unger and Watson

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By Mike Triplett | ESPN Staff Writer

METAIRIE, La. -- Taken individually, the New Orleans Saints should be able to overcome the loss of Mark Ingram or Max Unger or Benjamin Watson.

But, man, when you add those guys together, that is a lot of proven experience and leadership leaving the building all at once.

Here’s the positive spin:
  • The Saints could potentially upgrade their tight end spot following the 38-year-old Watson’s retirement if they sign free agent Jared Cook, who visited with the team late last week.
  • They have already replaced Ingram (who signed with the Baltimore Ravens) with another veteran running back in Latavius Murray -- who hasn’t been quite as productive as Ingram but certainly seems capable of filling the No. 2 job alongside...

Ranking Saints' needs after first week of free agency

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

The New Orleans Saints were active during the first week of free agency, adding a few players at positions of need and visiting with a few others.

Thus far, the Saints signed defensive linemen Malcom Brown and Mario Edwards and running back Latavius Murray. They also retained quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, linebacker Craig Robertson, safety Chris Banjo and kicker Wil Lutz.

Meanwhile, a few free agents signed elsewhere with running back Mark Ingram going to the Ravens and defensive end Alex Okafor joining the Chiefs.

With the second week of free agency beginning, there are still some holes on the roster, so here's a recalibration of the Saints' needs.

Full Story - NOLA.com

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

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