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NFL franchises fearful of their own “NOLA No Call”

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By Fletcher Mackel | WDSU Sport Anchor/Reporter

NEW ORLEANS —

NFL leaders will meet next week in Phoenix at the annual NFL owners' meetings, and changes could be made due to the “NOLA No Call” in the NFC Championship game between the New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams.

An NFL league source tells WDSU sports anchor Fletcher Mackel, “There are expected to be seven new rule change proposals made at the owners' meetings.The Saints are not making any proposals. Other teams don’t want egregious errors like what happened during the Saints' game.Those franchises are the ones pushing for change.”

Following the NFC Championship game, league officials admitted to Saints head coach Sean Payton that they missed two penalties on one play late in the fourth quarter. ...

Full Story - WDSU

Report: Veteran TE Jared Cook expected to sign with Saints after career season

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By Kevin Patra - NFL.com

The New Orleans Saints are poised to add a legit tight end receiving target for Drew Brees.

Jared Cook is expected to sign with the Saints, sources told NFL Network's Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero.

Turning 32 years old next month, Cook is coming off a career-year with the Oakland Raiders. As Derek Carr's top pass-catching target last season, Cook corralled 68 passes for 896 yards and six touchdowns.

The addition is a coup for the Saints who have struggled to find consistent weapons for Brees outside of Michael Thomas the past few seasons. ...

Full Story - NFL.com

NFL competition committee, NFL teams to propose expansion of reviewable plays

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By Luke Johnson, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

The now infamous non-call near the end of regulation in the NFC Championship Game between the New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams may spur a change in the NFL rulebook.

The NFL released a list of proposed rule changes ahead of the owner’s meetings in Phoenix next week, and two of the changes proposed by the NFL’s competition committee appear to be directly related to when Rams defensive back Nickell Robey-Coleman contacted Saints receiver Tommylee Lewis before the ball arrived without penalty.

According to the release, the competition committee’s proposed change to Rule 15, Section 2 would, for one year only, “expand the reviewable plays in instant replay to include all fouls for pass interference.” ...

Full Story - NOLA.com

Saints to sign cornerback, return specialist Marcus Sherels

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(Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune)

By Luke Johnson, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

The New Orleans Saints have reached an agreement in principle with former Minnesota Vikings cornerback and return specialist Marcus Sherels, according to a league source.

The 31-year-old Sherels had spent his entire nine-year career with the Vikings up to this point, making his most notable impact as a punt returner. His five career punt return touchdowns rank second among active players behind Darren Sproles. He has also dabbled as a kick returner, with a 25.5-yard career average on 53 kick returns. ...

Last season, Sherels averaged 12 yards on his 23 punt returns with a long of 70 yards. He has averaged better than 11 yards per punt return four times in the last six years. Only twice in the Sean Payton era have the Saints had a player with at least 10 punt returns average better than 11 yards per return, when Reggie Bush averaged 13.5 yards per return in 2008 and Tommylee Lewis averaged 11.4 yards per return in 2016. ...

Full Story - NOLA.com

NFL close to adopting rule change to expand instant replay

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By James Parks | 247 Sports

There appears to be agreement on a rule change regarding instant replay in the NFL, but not the one that many fans in New Orleans were hoping the league would adopt.

The National Football League’s Competition Committee has built up support for a rule change that would make pass interference penalties and other personal fouls reviewable by replay, but only in those instances in which a penalty flag was already thrown, the Washington Post reports.

Debate is still ongoing among committee members and no definitive rule proposals have been agreed to, and it is not clear if they will even make any proposals at the annual meeting.

But even though the committee has come to some agreement about a change, there is currently no support among members to introduce review in cases where no flags are thrown on the field.

Full Story - 247 Sports

Saints schedule visits with several Buckeyes draft prospects

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By John Sigler | Saintswire

The 2019 NFL Draft is approaching quickly, and the New Orleans Saints are stepping up their efforts to evaluate college prospects and continue to hammer out a draft strategy. Part of the predraft process involves hosting prospects on visits in New Orleans, though teams are allowed just 30 such personal meetings. We’re starting to get an idea of who the Saints may be targeting in this year’s draft after the Ohio State Buckeyes pro day.

Running back Mike Weber has scheduled visits with the Saints, Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, and Pittsburgh Steelers, per Dan Hope of Eleven Warriors. Weber was heavily involved in the Buckeyes offense the last three years, running for 2676 yards and scoring 24 touchdowns on the ground with 455 career attempts. He also caught 54 passes for 297 receiving yards. He didn’t complete all drills at the NFL Scouting Combine, but Weber’s 4.47-second time in the 40-yard dash was a good time for a back of his size (5-foot-9 5/8, 211 pounds).

Full Story - Saintswire - USA Today

Saints 2018 Year in Review: David Onyemata

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By Don Kellum | CSC

Drafted from a Canadian college, playing Canadian rules football, who didn’t play a single snap until he was in college, David Onyemata has been developing nicely since his surprising selection in the fourth round of the 2016 draft.

Onyemata saw his snap counts increase this season, resulting in a total of 616 defensive snaps.

The Numbers
  • Approximate Value: 3
  • Pro Football Focus rank: 24 out of 112
  • Overall Grade: 81.1
  • Pass Rushing Grade: 75.7
  • Run Defense Grade: 76.5
  • Coverage Grade: 60.2
  • Total Defensive Snaps: 616
Onyemata split time at the 3-technique defensive tackle spot along with fellow 2016 draftee Sheldon Rankins. The two helped the Saints defense be at the top of the league in run defense, and he also had a career high in sacks, with 4.5. He also contributed 35 tackles, four...

New Saints center Nick Easton making New Orleans home on 2nd visit: 'Just an awesome fit'

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By Rod Walker | The Advocate

Nick Easton had only been to New Orleans once before his visit last Thursday.

He was in middle school at the time, helping his church group with Hurricane Katrina relief.

"I didn't get really a full feel for the city and the culture and environment at that time," Easton said. "The thing that stuck out to me was the devastation of the city, the healing spirit of the city and just the work that guys were doing in the city."

After returning to the city last Thursday to visit the Saints, Easton — who can play center or guard — decided to make New Orleans his new home.

"Picking New Orleans was pretty easy," said Easton, who spent the past three seasons with the Minnesota Vikings. "My first impression when I got to the facility was, 'Wow, this place is beautiful, this city is beautiful.' And then I go inside and meet the coaches, who are so enthusiastic and fired up and knowledgeable about football. Then you go into the locker room, and it's a beautiful place and friendly players. It's just an awesome fit."

Full Story - The Advocate

Saints receiver Cameron Meredith agrees to pay cut: report

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New Orleans Saints wide receiver Cameron Meredith (81) catches a 46-yard pass against the Washington Redskins during the game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, La. Monday, Oct. 8, 2018.

By Jennifer Armstrong, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Wide receiver Cameron Meredith will take a pay cut in a move that will free up salary cap space for the New Orleans Saints, ESPN reported Thursday morning (March 21).

Field Yates reported that Meredith’s salary would be reduced from $3.4 million to $1.3 million for 2019.


Full Story - NOLA.com

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