Player News - Saints

Date: Team: Pos:

Free agent DE Darryl Tapp said he hopes to play two more seasons.

Tapp played 291 snaps in the Saints’ defensive line rotation last year. He’s open to re-signing but wants to play for a contender. A situational run stopper, 32-year-old Tapp should sign for close to the veteran minimum.
Feb 18 - 6:07 PM

The Saints are expected to begin long-term contract discussions with SS Kenny Vaccaro this offseason.

Vaccaro is due $5.676 million in the final year of his rookie deal. Though he served a four-game suspension to close out last season, Vaccaro had another strong year. He's long been good against the run and matched his career high with two picks and forced a pair of fumbles. Vaccaro just turned 26 and could be looking at two more bites at the big-contract apple.
Source: ESPN.com
Feb 17 - 9:24 AM

The New Orleans Advocate's Nick Underhill reports the Saints and impending free agent Nick Fairley have mutual interest in a new contract.

After playing on back-to-back one-year deals with the Rams and Saints the past two seasons, Fairley is looking to cash in with a multi-year deal after another strong 2016. He recorded 6.5 sacks and 47 combined sacks, hits, and hurries, grading out as PFF's No. 8 pass-rushing interior lineman. Underhill thinks Fairley could be seeking $9.5-10.5 million annually on his new deal.
Feb 15 - 1:48 PM

The Saints are expected to pick up Brandin Cooks’ 2018 option.

Cooks made noise about his role this past year, but isn’t expected to be traded. He finished strong, averaging 87.4 yards over his last five games. Cooks’ option will cost around $8 million.
Source: ESPN
Feb 11 - 4:09 PM

Saints hired Curtis Johnson as WRs coach.

He's replacing John Morton, who left to become the Jets' offensive coordinator. The Saints also hired Ryan Nielsen to replace fired DL coach Bill Johnson. This is Johnson's second stint as the Saints' WRs coach, a position he held from 2006-11. Johnson served as Chicago's WRs coach last season but was dismissed after the season. He'll have plenty to work with in New Orleans, where Brandin Cooks and Michael Thomas are both coming off phenomenal seasons.
Feb 9 - 6:34 PM

ESPN's Mike Triplett believes it's unlikely the Saints will trade Brandin Cooks this offseason.

Triplett said it's not "out of the question" but ultimately believes Cooks will stay. The Saints will soon have to decide whether to pick up Cooks' fifth-year option for 2018, which would pay him about $8 million. Cooks surfaced in trade rumors after he complained about not getting any targets against the Rams in Week 12, but he finished strong and there haven't been any rumblings since. You'd be hard-pressed to find a team with more receiving talent than New Orleans. Cooks, Michael Thomas and Willie Snead all topped 800 yards in 2016.
Source: ESPN.com
Feb 9 - 6:18 PM

ESPN Saints reporter Mike Triplett believes FS Jairus Byrd will "definitely" have to take a pay cut to keep his roster spot for 2017.

Signed to a massive six-year, $54 million deal in 2014, Byrd has been a colossal free-agent bust in New Orleans after playing at an All-Pro level in Buffalo. Byrd missed 15 games in his first two seasons with the Saints before playing in all 16 this past year, though he was benched at times. Byrd is due a $7.9 million salary and is set to count $11.7 million against the cap in 2017.
Source: ESPN.com
Feb 6 - 11:18 AM

Saints re-signed FB John Kuhn to a one-year contract.

He gets an $80,000 signing bonus. Kuhn played on a one-year, minimum deal in New Orleans this past season and ended up vulturing five touchdowns, with three of them coming in a Week 4 game against the Chargers.
Feb 3 - 11:31 AM

Drew Brees told Good Morning Football he still has a "few more" seasons left in him.

Despite the proclamation, Brees understands his window to win another ring is closing. "I'm just finishing my 16th season and I'm probably a little closer to the end than I am the beginning," Brees said. "So I just want to create a tremendous sense of urgency for every single year. I don't want to look any further past this year and what's right in front of us." Entering a contract year, Brees has said he is not looking to sign an extension this offseason because he doest not "want to overlook any opportunity." If the Saints cannot get it figured out on defense this year, it is not out of the question Brees hits free agency looking for a better chance at a ring in 2018. Still playing at an elite level, Brees threw for 5,208 yards and 37 touchdowns in 2016.
Source: NFL.com
Feb 2 - 10:36 AM

Saints hired Mike Nolan as linebackers coach.

The scoop came via Sirius XM NFL Radio, which employed Nolan in 2016. Nolan will be a position coach under DC Dennis Allen after spending one year out of coaching. He coached the Chargers' linebackers in 2015 following stints as a defensive coordinator in Denver (2009), Miami (2010-2011), and Atlanta (2012-2014). Nolan was the 49ers' head coach from 2005-2008.
Jan 30 - 5:30 PM

The trial over Saints owner Tom Benson's will is set to begin on Feb. 6.

Two years ago, Benson cut his daughter and two grandchildren out of the line of succession for the Saints, ceding the team solely to his wife upon his death. A wave of lawsuits and depositions have followed since, culminating in next week's trial. The trial, of course, could still be avoided if the sides reach a settlement in the next week. It seems unlikely.
Jan 30 - 2:59 PM

Saints assistant GM Jeff Ireland said the team "still believe(s)" in 2015 first-round LB Stephone Anthony.

Ireland, the former Dolphins GM, heads the Saints' college scouting department. Picked 31st overall in 2015, Anthony lost his job to James Laurinaitis this past season before Laurinaitis was eventually released mid-season. Anthony still barely played, getting in on just 133 snaps for the year before landing on I.R. (knee) in December. He needs to put something on film in 2017.
Source: ESPN.com
Jan 27 - 12:10 PM

Alex Marvez of The Sporting News reports Mike Nolan is interviewing for a job with the Saints.

Remember him? The former 49ers coach was out of the league last year following a one-year stint as the Chargers' LBs coach. The Saints may view him as a replacement for Joe Vitt, who was fired as LBs coach shortly after the season. Nolan was also up for the role of Jaguars' LBs coach but recently withdrew his name from consideration.
Jan 24 - 5:55 PM

Saints fired assistant head coach Joe Vitt, special teams coordinator Greg McMahon and DL coach Bill Johnson.

Assistant special teams coach Stan Kwan and defensive assistant James Willis have also been let go. Bloodletting assistants has become an annual rite of passage for coach Sean Payton as his team continues to struggle on defense and special teams. DC Dennis Allen should have leeway in picking some of his new lieutenants. The moves are, of course, an indication Payton will be remaining in New Orleans.
Jan 5 - 5:30 PM

When asked about his future in New Orleans, Saints coach Sean Payton said, "I definitely plan on being back here."

Payton has four years remaining on his contract and plans on "honoring that." It was natural to think Payton might want a change of scenery with six head coaching jobs open and New Orleans coming off its third straight 7-9 finish. But the Saints still have Drew Brees and also have an exciting young receiver in Michael Thomas. In the end, that was more appealing to Payton than starting over somewhere else. Payton has been with the Saints since 2006.
Jan 2 - 8:34 PM


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