Appearing on SportsCenter, ESPN's Adam Schefter and Todd McShay agreed that UCLA LB Myles Jack's draft sweet spot is from the Saints at No. 12 overall to the Falcons at No. 17.
However, ESPN's Bob Holtzman -- who is reporting live from 49ers headquarters -- believes Jack is also a "strong possibility" to land in San Francisco. The Niners draft seventh overall, perhaps enlarging Jack's sweet spot. While there no longer seems to be a realistic chance Jack goes in the top-five picks, it does now seem likely that his wait won't last until the draft's second day.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports the Saints discussed trading for the No. 1 pick to land a quarterback.
This report is a masterful bit of pre-draft maneuvering by the Saints. Leaking they are interested in a quarterback not only puts pressure on Drew Brees to agree to an extension and the cap relief which comes with it, it also lets other teams know New Orleans could be in the market for Memphis' Paxton Lynch, who Rapoport mentions by name. Bravo. In reality, the Saints have to address their pass rush or secondary in the first round.
Saints waived S Vinnie Sunseri.
Sunseri offered promise as an intriguing fifth-round sleeper in the 2014 draft, but he ended his first NFL season on I.R. and spent all of 2015 on injured reserve as well. We suspect he'll get some interest on the waiver wire.
Saints waived DL Tavaris Barnes.
Barnes played 130 snaps last season as an undrafted rookie for the Saints. A 'tweener end-tackle at 6-foot-4, 282, Barnes was also a backup at Clemson.
ESPN Saints reporter Mike Triplett expects New Orleans to address cornerback in the draft after failing to sign Josh Norman.
The Saints made a late push for Norman on Friday but it was clear he had his heart set on Washington. While the Saints have plenty of other needs, the secondary is certainly an area that could use improvement. New Orleans allowed an NFL record 45 touchdown passes last season while giving up the second-most passing yards in the league. Triplett believes Florida's Vernon Hargreaves and Houston's William Jackson could both be in play for New Orleans with the 12th pick.
FOX Sports' Mike Garafolo reports the 49ers' interest in free agent Josh Norman was always "lukewarm."
NFL Network's Mike Silver tweeted Friday that he didn't expect the Niners to pursue Norman, and multiple reports since have echoed the sentiment. Per CSN Bay Area's Matt Maiocco, the 49ers showed "initial interest," but were only interested in Norman "at the right price." The Redskins appear willing to meet Norman's contract demands. They're now competing with the Saints.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reports the Saints are "making a strong push" to sign free agent Josh Norman.
Norman will decide between Washington and New Orleans. The Saints have one of the worst cap situations, but there's enough room for them to get creative. Norman would be a massive upgrade to a secondary that's ranked in the bottom-third of the league the last two seasons. He's expected to command $15M-plus annually.
Free agent WR Robert Meachem will work out for the Saints on Friday.
He ran a 4.48 40 and passed a physical. It's been over 10 months since we last heard from Meachem when he worked out for the Lions. The 31-year-old spent last season out of the league and only caught seven passes for the Saints in 2014 as a rotational deep threat.
Former Saints DE Will Smith was shot and killed Saturday night in New Orleans.
Smith was 34. Police believe the shooting was the result of a road rage incident. Smith reportedly exchanged words with another driver after his Mercedes G63 was rear-ended by a Hummer H2, causing Smith to bump into the car ahead of him. Smith's wife was hospitalized after being shot twice in the right leg. The Hummer driver and shooting suspect is now in police custody. Smith spent 10 seasons with the Saints, appearing in one Pro Bowl and winning a Super Bowl in 2009. He leaves behind a daughter and two sons. Known as a leader on the field and an ambassador off of it, Smith's passing is a devastating loss for the NFL and especially the Saints' organization.
The Saints remain interested in re-signing free agent RB Tim Hightower.
The sides are meeting this week. Hightower served as the Saints' emergency bell-cow back over the final month of 2015, having surprising success after going four years without a regular season touch. About to turn 30, Hightower is strictly a reserve talent at this point in his career, but proved last season he can be counted on in a pinch behind starter Mark Ingram.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports the Patriots are "out" on free agent DT Nick Fairley, and he's expected to sign with the Saints.
Fairley surprisingly drew very little interest on the open market despite showing well in a rotational role with the Rams last season. It didn't do much to rehab his value, however, as he's again settling in the second wave of free agency after inking a one-year pact with the Rams last March. Fairley should give the Saints' interior pass rush a nice jolt. They desperately need it.
NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reports free agent DT Nick Fairley is visiting the Saints.
Fairley has been linked to the Eagles and Jets, but this is his first known visit. Fairley is coming off a strong year for the Rams. He'd be paired with John Jenkins in New Orleans.
Free agent DL Jason Hatcher is visiting the Saints on Tuesday.
It's Hatcher's first-known visit since the Redskins released Hatcher last week. The veteran will turn 34 in July and is coming off another strong season as an interior pass rusher. Hatcher doesn't have a lot left but can still function in sub-packages. The Saints had one of the worst pass-rush groups in 2015.
Free agent ILB Craig Robertson will visit the Saints.
Robertson has already visited the Seahawks, but left without a contract. Now 28, Robertson is a pass-coverage specialist at inside linebacker.
Lions signed S Rafael Bush, formerly of the Saints, to a one-year contract "worth up to" $2.4 million.
If he can stay healthy, Bush should be able to compete for a starting role in the secondary, but staying healthy has been an issue. Bush spent almost all of 2015 on injured reserve with a pectoral tear and ended 2014 on injured reserve with a broken leg. He will turn 29 in May.
Free agent LB James Laurinaitis has scheduled visits with seven teams.
The news was delivered by Laurinaitis' dad, aka Animal from the Road Warriors of WWE fame. Laurinaitis has already visited the Saints, will visit the Falcons early next week, and also has visits scheduled with the Bears, Redskins, Patriots, 49ers and Giants, although beat reporters for the Giants and Redskins have not heard anything about a visit. A durable veteran, Laurinaitis should be able to latch on somewhere soon.
NFL Network's Rand Getlin reports the Bucs, Saints and Giants are "all in the mix" for free agent FS Chris Conte.
Conte and the Bucs talked about a new contract at the Combine, but they have yet to work anything out. A capable if not spectacular center fielder, Conte would fill a need for the Giants next to sophomore SS Landon Collins, and the Saints could always use cheap help in the secondary.
Saints released CB Brandon Browner.
New Orleans will designate Browner as a post-June 1 cut, saving them an extra $1.3 million against the cap this season by adding $1.3 million in dead money to the 2017 cap. Just keep kicking that can down the road. Browner was the worst corner in the league last season. His market should be frigid.
CBS' Jason La Canfora reports the Saints are interested in free agent Coby Fleener.
Per La Canfora, the Saints had been pursuing Ladarius Green, but he's expected to sign with the Steelers. Fleener is the kind of pure pass catching tight end that's had great success under Sean Payton and Drew Brees. He'd be firmly on the TE1 radar in New Orleans.
The Baton Route Advocate adds the Saints to the list of teams "in the mix" for free agent OG J.R. Sweezy.
Either Sweezy has a talkative agent or he's generating a lot more interest than should be indicative of his 2015 on-field play. Turning 27 next month, Sweezy has been linked to Atlanta, Denver, New Orleans, Jacksonville, Tampa Bay, San Francisco, and the Jets. He's expected to command $6 million annually.