The Saints have been looking into signing free agent TE Jermaine Gresham for a "couple months."
Per coach Sean Payton, there's "nothing set yet." Saints brass has spent a ton of time talking up both Josh Hill and Benjamin Watson this offseason, but could use another body as they try to replace Jimmy Graham. Gresham's arrival would be bad news for 34-year-old "Y" tight end Watson.
The Saints visited with free agent TE Jermaine Gresham.
It's Gresham's first visit since undergoing March back surgery. The Saints could use a veteran presence after trading away Jimmy Graham. Gresham's signing would be a threat to "Y" tight end Ben Watson's snaps. The Saints have made it clear Josh Hill will play Graham's old "F" position in Sean Payton's offense.
In addition to the Cowboys, free agent WR Kris Durham recently worked out for the Saints.
The Saints went with Lance Lewis over Durham, who has been abysmal in past opportunities to play extensively. He was arguably the worst wideout in the entire NFL in 2013, when Durham served as the Lions' No. 3 receiver.
Saints waived WR Andy Tanner.
An annual preseason favorite in New Orleans, Tanner never did make it into an actual game. He'd been hanging around since going undrafted in 2010.
Saints released K Shayne Graham.
It's a surprise after the 37-year-old Graham converted 19-of-22 field goals last season, and re-signed for $970,000 in February. The Saints are now left with just Dustin Hopkins and Zach Hocker at kicker. Hocker was a seventh-round pick of the Redskins last season, while Hopkins was picked by the Bills in 2013. Hopkins has the stronger pedigree, but a groin injury derailed his Bills career. He'll be the favorite to replace Graham.
Free agent DE Da'Quan Bowers and TE Chase Coffman tried out at Saints rookie minicamp this past week.
Former 49ers and Bears WR Josh Morgan was also in the house. The 51st pick in the 2011 draft, 25-year-old Bowers is trying to get back in the league after flopping in four seasons with the Bucs. The Saints have not signed him.
Free agent DT Kevin Williams is visiting the Saints.
Apparently the 34-year-old Williams won't be retiring. The five-time first-team All Pro spent last year with the Seahawks, filling in reasonably as a starter during Brandon Mebane's eight missed games. In New Orleans, Williams would be quality depth for a team suddenly focused on defense.
Saints waived S Marcus Ball and LB Kyle Knox.
Both players were fringe contributors in 2014, with Ball making two starts. Ball turns 28 in July, while Knox recently turned 26. Ball is an ex-CFLer who could head back north of the border.
According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the Saints see Baylor QB Bryce Petty as the best pure passer in the draft.
Bob McGinn of the Journal-Sentinel is one of the most plugged-in prospect/draft reporters around. He's mocked Petty to the Saints at No. 31 overall, the pick they acquired in the Jimmy Graham trade. If that happens, New Orleans would embark on an Aaron Rodgers/Brett Favre project as Drew Brees is 36 years old.
Saints coach Sean Payton reportedly "gushed" over Miami WR Phillip Dorsett.
After moving on from Jimmy Graham and Kenny Stills this offseason, the Saints are in the market for pass-catchers. Beat writer Mike Triplett calls wide receiver "the position most likely to be addressed at some point in the first three rounds." Dorsett is a bit similar physically to Brandin Cooks at just 5'9/185, but may be available on Day 2. He clocked sub-4.3 forties at his Pro Day and has drawn some DeSean Jackson comps.
NFL draft insider Tony Pauline reports the Saints "will consider trading up" if they "feel they are in striking distance" of Clemson DE/OLB Vic Beasley.
Per Pauline, Saints DC Rob Ryan "loves Beasley's pass rushing ability and potential in a 3-4 (defense)." New Orleans didn't run as many 3-4 looks as hoped last year, in large part due to a shortage of outside pass rushers. Beasley is the most explosive speed rusher in this year's draft. With two first-rounders and five selections in the top 80, the Saints have ample trade-up ammo.
Free agent Greg Jennings left his Saints visit without a contract.
It'll be his last visit, according to the New Orleans Advocate's Nick Underhill. In addition to the Saints, the Ravens, Panthers, and Jaguars remain interested in Jennings. He also visited the Dolphins after his release from the Vikings. Jennings isn't going to get more than about $3 million on a one-year contract.
Coach Sean Payton said it's important for the Saints to draft some defenders who can play "right away."
Saints ace beat writer Larry Holder released a mock draft Thursday that has New Orleans selecting Kentucky linebacker Bud Dupree and UCLA ILB Eric Kendricks with the Nos. 13 and 31 picks in two weeks. Dupree's stock has steadily been on the rise, and he has a chance to be a top-10 pick. Kendricks is the brother of Eagles ILB Mychal Kendricks. Eric is viewed as the top inside linebacker prospect in what appears to be a weak draft class at the position.
Free agent DL Corey Wootton left his visit with the Saints without a contract.
Wootton has struggled to attract interest after playing a limited role in Mike Zimmer’s defense last season. He also left visits from Tennessee and Jacksonville without a deal. 27-year-old Wootton offers versatility at multiple spots, but will likely have to settle for the veteran minimum.
Free agent DE Corey Wootton is visiting the Saints on Wednesday.
Wootton played 275 snaps for coach Mike Zimmer's Vikings last season on a one-year, $1.5 million deal. He'll come much cheaper after a miserable year.
Free agent WR Greg Jennings is expected to visit the Saints.
At least per NFL.com's Ian Rapoport, that was "the plan" following Jennings' Monday visit with the Jaguars. A deal with the Jags does not appear imminent. The Saints are down a man at receiver after trading away Kenny Stills, but it's unlikely they'd view a 31-year-old Jennings as his sole replacement.
Free agent OLB/DE Anthony Spencer is visiting the Saints Tuesday.
The Saints are trying to rebuild their identity around ball control and defense. By shedding salary in the Jimmy Graham deal, they've freed up some money to take shots on talented defenders like Spencer. Prior to 2013 microfracture surgery, Spencer busted out for 11 sacks for Dallas in 2012 -- and he did it under Rob Ryan, now the Saints defensive coordinator.
Chargers signed CB Patrick Robinson, formerly of the Saints, to a one-year, $2 million contract.
Robinson has had a wildly up-and-down career, getting benched repeatedly in New Orleans but also flashing the ability that made him the No. 32 overall pick in 2010. Robinson is currently coming off his best season and going on age 28. In San Diego, Robinson will compete for sub-package snaps at outside corner. Jason Verrett and Brandon Flowers are the starters, while new S/CB Jimmy Wilson has experience covering the slot.
Patriots agreed to terms with RB Travaris Cadet, formerly of the Saints, on a two-year contract.
A restricted free agent, Cadet wasn't tendered a contract by the Saints. A pure passing-game back, he gives the Patriots a third-down option as they look to replace Shane Vereen. Cadet caught 38 passes for the Saints last season despite playing just 209 snaps. He has only 11 career carries. Cadet is a name to keep an eye on in fantasy circles, but will face competition for Vereen's old spot.
Free agent CB Patrick Robinson hasn't ruled out re-signing with the Saints.
Robinson is scheduled to meet with Pittsburgh this weekend, and has multiple visits lined up. The Saints are unlikely to bring him back after signing Brandon Browner. Robinson is the top remaining free-agent corner behind Tramon Williams.