Player News - Saints

Date: Team: Pos:

The New Orleans Times-Picayune expects free agent DT Nick Fairley to seek $10 million per season.

The New Orleans Advocate guessed a similar number a week ago. Reporter Larry Holder "can almost guarantee" the Saints will not be willing to pay that much. Holder expects New Orleans to get interested if Fairley's average annual value is in the $6 million range. Coming off an excellent year — and his 29th birthday — Fairley has every reason to seek top dollar.
Feb 23 - 6:13 PM

Free agent CB Sterling Moore wants to re-sign with the Saints.

He says the interest is mutual. Signed just ahead of Week 1 as depth, Moore ended up leading all Saints corners in snaps and received the best coverage grade of the group from Pro Football Focus, though he was still 71st in the league among 120 qualifiers. Moore won't command much on the open market.
Feb 22 - 10:55 AM

In an interview on Sirius XM NFL Radio, Saints coach Sean Payton said he's always in the "quarterback business."

"I think we’re in the quarterback business always because they’re so difficult to find," said Payton. "And certainly you pay attention to it when your quarterback’s older." Payton has now hinted several times at the Saints pursuing a successor to Drew Brees. The 38-year-old led the NFL in passing yards last season but Father Time remains undefeated. The Saints have plenty of other needs, but it would be a mild surprise if they left draft weekend without a quarterback.
Feb 21 - 3:37 PM

ESPN Saints reporter Mike Triplett expects impending free agent Nick Fairley to land a multi-year deal in the range of $6-9 million annually.

That's a fairly (no pun intended) wide range but as Triplett points out, Fairley's value is "tough to gauge." Fairley earned a $3 million base salary last season, though incentives increased that total to $4.5 million. Either way, it looks like Fairley is in for a nice raise after setting career-highs with 6.5 sacks and 43 tackles in 2016. The Saints have two promising young defensive tackles in Sheldon Rankins and David Onyemata, which could make Fairley expendable.
Source: ESPN.com
Feb 21 - 1:20 PM

Saints coach Sean Payton said he "absolutely" expects Brandin Cooks to return in 2017.

There had been chatter Cooks would be traded after making noise about his role during the season, but it never seemed particularly likely. Along with Michael Thomas and Willie Snead, Cooks gives the Saints' potent offense one of the best receiver groups in the league. New Orleans is expected to pick up his fifth-year option this offseason.
Feb 21 - 12:34 PM

The Times-Picayune's Larry Holder believes Saints LG Andrus Peat is still Zach Strief's future replacement at right tackle.

Strief is fully expected to return in 2017, but he will turn 34 in September and has only two years left on his deal. With RG Jahri Evans also going on 34 and headed for free agency, the Saints need to be looking at long-term answers on the right side. LT Terron Armstead's health also has to be a concern after he managed just seven games in 2016, and C Max Unger will turn 31 in April. It is not a primary need, but the Saints have some work to do on the offensive line.
Feb 21 - 12:24 PM

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


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