Andrus Whitewing

Andrus Whitewing

Saints’ Cam Jordan takes one step closer to ‘vision of grandeur’ with 3-year extension

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

By Luke Johnson, | The Times-Picayune

Cam Jordan enjoyed playing the part of theorist after the first day of New Orleans Saints minicamp.

As of that point Tuesday afternoon, the All-Pro defensive end had not yet signed the line on a three-year contract extension that will pay him a reported $52.5 million, $42 million of which is guaranteed, and keep him in New Orleans through the 2023 season.

Nothing is official until ink meets paper, so instead he theorized.

He wondered out loud if one of those low-flying planes from the nearby airport might be a cargo plane swooping in to drop a couple theoretical bags of cash. He pondered which of his kids might speculatively get a little extra oomph in an upcoming birthday celebration.

"We might dance tonight," Jordan said. "My son's fourth birthday might be a little better today. My daughter turns one (Wednesday). So somebody's going to have a heck of a birthday.”

He openly spoke about the idea of being a Saint for life....

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Center of attention: Replacing Max Unger looks to be Saints' most intriguing position battle

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Advocate Photo

By Rod Walker | The Advocate

For the past four offseasons, it was a position battle you didn't even have to watch.

You knew it belonged to Max Unger.

But now that Unger has retired, finding the guy who will snap the ball to Drew Brees when the season starts is the most intriguing position battle for the Saints.

At first, it seemed as if it would belong to Nick Easton, who the Saints signed in free agency. But then a month later, the team drafted Erik McCoy out of Texas A&M with their second-round pick.

Easton wasn't surprised.

"You kind of expect it," Easton said. "Offensive line is a premium position. There’s not that many great players out there, and the more you can get the better, and that can help our team." ...

Full Story - The Advocate

Saints: Everybody’s talking CGJ, let’s give Kenny Bigelow a look

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By Roy Anderson | WhoDatDish

Everybody, and I mean people who don’t watch football too, in New Orleans is talking about CGJ. While their attention is over there, I’ll talk fellow Saints rookie DT Kenny Bigelow.

Bleacher Report ran a piece this morning from Gary Davenport titled “Every NFL team’s surprise rookie gem.” It’s a fun title and a fun topic because of the player they chose for the Saints. CGJ, or Chauncey Gardner-Johnson as people with all the time in the world call him, is undoubtedly the correct answer. Just for the sake of counter-point, I’m going to throw another name into the ring, former West Virginia Mountaineer defensive tackle Kenny Bigelow.

There are so many reasons for Chauncey Gardner-Johnson to be undisputed here. He’ll likely be the Saints dime corner heading into the regular season and that means he’ll have more playing time than any other defensive rookie. And, of course, there is his dynamic play itself. Only in New Orleans could the fans have higher expectations for their team’s fourth-round draft pick than for big named veteran free agents. ...

Full Story - WhoDatDish

8 best roster battles for 2019 Saints training camp

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By John Sigler | Saintswire

The New Orleans Saints have maxed out their roster with 90 players signed to contracts, and they’re patiently working towards a training camp that should be more competitive than most. New Orleans returned many of their players from last year’s team, which came within a stone’s throw (or a penalty flag’s throw?) from reaching the Super Bowl. They signed a number of promising free agents and made some intriguing draft picks.

It’s tough to pin down the most-crucial roster battles, but we’ve made our best effort. With just 53 spots available on the 2019 Saints roster, there’s going to be plenty of competition as guys work to chase their NFL dreams. Here’s the eight contests we’re most looking forward to:

1. Zach Wood vs. Nick Moore...

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Why the New Orleans Saints could win it all, Part I: Offensive Line

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By Chris Dunnells | Canal Street Chronicles

The offensive line is getting younger and better.

Bringing back a series of pieces from the past three years, we’re going to check each position group on the New Orleans Saints and discuss how they improve the Saints’ chances of making a run in 2019. Let’s start with the offensive line...

Pro Football Focus ranked all NFL offensive lines following the 2018 season, and the Saints came in 8th overall:

The Saints were similarly built to the Packers this season with two dominant tackles, but they struggled more when injuries struck. None of their starters on the interior had top 80 grades among all linemen, and Jermon Bushrod only earned a 62.2 overall grade in Terron Armstead’s place for much of the year. ...

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Saints to make two 'NFL100 Game of the Week' appearances in 2019

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By John Sigler | Saintswire

The New Orleans Saints will make two showcases for the NFL during its celebratory “NFL100 Game of the Week” series, which will put the spotlight on matchups between teams with historical significance.

The NFL describes the philosophy behind their selection process as highlighting “a momentous game played, a fierce rivalry that spans decades, a matchup of original teams and/or a game in which history was made.”

It’s unclear what specific celebrations will be rung in for each game, but the Saints know they will be making at least two appearances — games have already been set for the first 16 weeks, but the NFL is waiting until a later date to select the Week 17 contest. ...

Full Story - Saintswire - USA Today

Former Saints tight end Ben Watson suspended 4 games

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By Christopher Dabe, | The Times-Picayune

Former New Orleans Saints tight end Ben Watson will miss the first four games this season with the New England Patriots for violating the league policy on performance enhancing substances.

Watson said in a Facebook message Sunday (May 26) he underwent a legal testosterone treatment as prescribed by a doctor in March, well before he decided against retirement and chose in May to play another NFL season. Until then, he considered himself retired and began the testosterone treatments as a method to help his body recover from 15 seasons as an NFL player.

The league administered the random drug test March 29 and he received a letter from the league May 3 to say he tested positive.

“I was devastated and for obvious reasons did not want to proceed,” Watson wrote. “At that point I knew that my decision to return to play would include a four game suspension and I immediately discussed this new development with the clubs.” ...

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Mike Detillier: Cook, Murray part of Saints getting better

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By Mike Detillier | Houma Today

It didn’t take long for veteran tight end Jared Cook and veteran running back Latavius Murray to catch the eyes of the Saints coaching staff and head coach Sean Payton during the opening days of offseason training sessions.

Last season Cook caught 68 passes for 896 yards and six touchdowns on a poor Oakland Raiders football team.

In 2018 the threesome of Saints tight ends Ben Watson, Josh Hill and Dan Arnold caught a total of 63 passes and had four touchdown catches.

In 2017 Cook caught 54 passes for the Raiders.

The foursome of Saints tight ends Coby Fleener, Josh Hill, Garrett Griffin and Michael Hoomanawanui caught 45 passes total.

Payton immediately brought up Cook’s length, his speed and his ability to make something happen after the catch. ...

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Saints planning on big returns from investments to punt return unit

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By John Sigler | Saintswire

The New Orleans Saints have made a number of investments on their special teams unit, ranging from the revamping of the coaching staff to multiple re-signed veterans and the addition of free agent specialists. One of the biggest areas in need of improvement is punt returner, and it’s something at the forefront of head coach Sean Payton’s mind.

“Right now, there’s only so much you are doing,” Payton said following the first week of organized team activities, “so we have candidates, and we get a chance to work on the technique of what we are trying to do relative to (punt) rush, relative to our return game.”

Payton hired an entirely new special teams staff this offseason, headlined by longtime Miami Dolphins special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi, who fills the same role for New Orleans. He’s joined by former Penn State coordinator Phil Galiano and kicking coverage specialist Michael Wilhoite as assistants. All of those coaches are now working to evaluate the best options to return punts and put the offense in good field position. ...

Full Story - Saintswire - USA Today

Can Jared Cook return Saints' tight end production to former glory? It's early, but team has high hopes

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By Nathan Brown | Advocate

After the first three days of OTAs, NFL teams are all about managing expectations. The hot-shot rookie wideout may not look that good once pads and looming safeties itching to tackle are added to the mix, while new offensive lineman struggling early are still getting used to the cadence, chemistry and playbook of a new team.

But pads or not, three days in with his new team or three hundred, it’s hard to stand at Jared Cook’s locker and gaze upon all 6-foot-5, 254 pounds of his Pro Bowl physique, which could challenge several defensive linemen in his new locker room, and not think of the endless possibilities he and Brees could conjure up this season.

“I’d read a lot of good things about him before he got here, but he’s certainly impressed us these first couple of days,” Brees said Thursday after the culmination of the team’s first three-day OTA. “He’s got a great feel for the game, and I think he’s going to fit very well in our offense. ...

Full Story - The Advocate

Will the New Orleans Saints win more or less than one playoff game in 2019?

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The "Good Morning Football" crew discusses if the New Orleans Saints will win more or less than one playoff win in the 2019 NFL season.

Link to Video- Yahoo Sports

Drew Brees: 'thunder and lightning' potential in Latavius Murray, Alvin Kamara

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By John Sigler | Saintswire

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees has shared the backfield with Mark Ingram the last eight years, but he’s comfortable embracing change with the addition of Latavius Murray. After the first few days of practice with Murray and lead back Alvin Kamara, Brees has already seen how Murray can fit in with what the Saints do best.

“Thunder and lightning,” Brees answered when prompted to describe how Murray’s skills compliment Kamara’s. “Look around the league. You have that running back room that typically brings different skillsets and you are able to mix and match. I think our offense is proven that we do a lot of things with two backs in the game. It just gives us a lot of flexibility and gives a lot for the defense to have to worry about and game plan for. Again, we’re only three days into it, but I’m impressed with what I’ve seen with him as well.” ...

Full Story - Saintswire - USA Today

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