Bounty-Gate investigation is continuing and a new coach for the Saints will be
in place shortly, but how will this affect the 2012 season for New Orleans?
Join our Saints blog which will run throughout the off season.
It's The Secondary, Stupid!
By: Craig Tattan
camps starts on July 24th and Who Dat Nation has to be thrilled that
Number Nine is back in the saddle after signing a monster deal earlier this
Nobody but nobody is questioning the high octane offense that Drew Brees will unleash once the
season starts. What needs to be
addressed is a Saints secondary that allowed nearly 260 yards per game and
ranked 30th in that category. New Orleans had a dearth of draft picks this season due both to
penalties from Bountygate and trades, so they only secured one
player to add to their lackluster defensive backfield. Corey White of Samford was drafted in the 5th
round but is on the bubble when it comes to suiting up when the
games really matter.
Tracy Porter is now a Bronco, so the Saints
should be rolling out Jabari Greer and Patrick Robinson at cornerback; Malcolm
Jenkins will be roaming at free safety, and Roman Harper is slated to patrol the
strong safety spot. Who backs up or
competes to oust one of the anticipated starters is still up for grabs but
their collective performances must be better than last season if they are to
contend for a return trip to the Super Bowl.
The One Hundred Million Dollar Man
By: Craig Tattan
will poo poo the news that New Orleans caved and dumped a Brink's truck full of
money on Drew Brees. But, everyone else
will say, it's about time. Drew Brees
got everything he wanted to the tune of a 5-year, hundred million dollar deal
with $60 million guaranteed.
It was the only option for the Saints but it
just took them too long to do it. After
Brees strongly hinted he would sit out rather than being stuck with the
franchise tag, the Saints had to do some serious soul searching and they reasoned
Brees could make things very uncomfortable down on the Bayou if he sat out. They came to their senses and now Drew Brees
will be in uniform when training camp commences.
Brees vs. RG3
By: Craig Tattan
Will he or won’t he be suiting up this season for the Saints? That’s the question fans are asking of the uber
talented Drew Brees. Right now he is in
a bitter contract dispute with the team, so his presence on opening day is
unknown at this early juncture.
Let’s assume Brees
either accepts the franchise tender or hammers out a long term agreement with
the team and is ready to unload on opening day. If that’s the case, then we see nothing in the form of the Washington
Redskins that will stop him from torching their secondary and leading his team
to a home victory over the overmatched Redskins.
The pick is New Orleans -9 ½.
By: Craig Tattan
is getting more money one way or the other, so stated a ruling by system
arbiter Stephen Burbank that clearly defined this franchise tag as an addition
to the tag that was stuck on Brees after his rookie contract ran out when he
was playing for San Diego back in 2005.
The Chargers must now decide whether spending a bit less this season is
worth stoking Brees' ire even further and simply postponing the inevitable
multi-year bonanza that Brees is certain to get whether it be from the Saints
or some other team looking for an elite signal caller.
have clearly mishandled this entire negotiation and are going to be dealt a
miserable deck of cards if they don't get on bended knee quickly to put the
acrimony aside in order to make Brees an offer which will be commensurate with
a quarterback who broke Dan Marino's single-season passing-yardage record
last year. Brees is now in the driver's seat and must
decide whether to play the rest of his career for a town who adores him or suit
up for the Saints this season and make the price tag too great for the team
after this season. Saints fans surely
know exactly what outcome is best for the franchise, here's hoping management
smartens up too!
Same Ole' Saints
By: Craig Tattan
It’s virtually impossible to report anything having to do with the New
Orleans Saints that doesn’t have the words BountyGate or Drew Brees in the
headline. Brees is still unsigned and unhappy about being labeled with the
franchise tag, a one year tender, which does nothing to provide the stellar
signal caller with the long term security
he is seeking.
While not signaling out Brees specifically, I am always amused by
professional athletes looking for security after making millions upon millions
of dollars. Brees is scheduled to make $16.4 million if he plays under the
franchise tag guidelines tendered by the Saints. If that’s not security then I
would suggest a more sensible budget be implemented in the Brees household.
Perhaps the word “security” should be replaced by something, anything
else when it comes to truckloads of money being lavished upon
athletes. I certainly don’t begrudge Brees for getting every nickel he can but let’s
not continue to confuse an athlete looking to add more zeroes to his bank
account with a 9 to 5 average Joe gunning for a few more bucks to add to his
That being said, the Saints would be wise to give Brees what he wants as
he is still only 33-years-old (old for a running back, not so for a healthy
quarterback) and make sure he retires a Saint. July 16th is the drop
dead date for an agreement; otherwise Brees will have to play under the
franchise tag and he will not be a happy camper.
By: Craig Tattan
continues to dominate the fragrance of this season’s OTA’s and mini-camp down
on the bayou. Roger Goodell will hear appeals on behalf of Jonathan Vilma, Will
Smith, Scott Fujita and Anthony Hargrove on June 18th. Goodell
agreed to consider the appeals last month and this will be the last gasp for
the players penalized for their part in the scandal.
ESPN is reporting
that the Saints GM Mickey Loomis extended an olive branch in terms of a revised
contract proposal to Drew Brees’ agent Tom Condon. There has been little
communication between the parties for the past few months and the 33-year-old
Brees is looking to make this contract his final contract. He has stated on
more than occasion that he wants to end his career as a Saint as do the Saints’
fans. Brees no doubt eyeballed the lavish contract extended to the 36-year-old
Peyton Manning who has not thrown a pass in anger in over a year. The sides are
reportedly two million dollars apart before this latest offer by the team.
refuses to die a quiet death. The NFLPA
is prepared to appeal the ruling by Special Master (yes, that's what he's
called although it does have a peculiar sado masochistic ring to it) Stephen
Burbank who upheld the ruling by NFL head honcho Roger Goodell to suspend and
levy fines to all of those who were involved in the Saints scandal from 2009 to
am unfamiliar with the inner workings of union policies as it pertains to the
National Football League Players Association, something strikes me as odd to
say the least that an arbiter's decision is able to be appealed. Isn't that's why you agree to arbitration, so
you can put the situation to bed one way or another?Though the players involved will gladly allow
the union to fight to the bitter end on their behalf, it is certainly doing
nothing to enhance the Saints' chances of conducting voluntary and mandatory
workouts without the carnival like atmosphere.
Vilma vs. Goodell
By: Craig Tattan
Suspended linebacker Jonathan Vilma is not only appealing
his suspension but has now filed a lawsuit for defamation of character against
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Vilma
has been accused and summarily suspended for his role in the now infamous
Bountygate that has dominated the team’s headlines since the story broke.
attorney Peter Ginsberg stated the following in defense of his client, “Commissioner Goodell opted to make very public and
unfortunately erroneous allegations against Jonathan. By making these false and
public statements, he has significantly harmed Jonathan’s reputation and
ability to make a living.”
further added, “By suing Commissioner Goodell in court, Jonathan opted to use a
fair playing field where he has procedural rights and protections to remedy the
harm Commissioner Goodell has done to him.”
As if this wasn’t
enough, the erudite Vilma tweeted the following, ““As I’ve said before..I NEVER PAID,
NOR INTENDED TO PAY ANY AMOUNT OF MONEY, TO ANY PLAYER FOR INTENTIONALLY
HURTING AN OPPONENT.”
asks for unspecified monetary damages but further prolongs this sorry chapter
in the Saints history. New Orleans will
have this black cloud following them throughout the season as they will be
without head coach Sean Payton for the entire season due to his
suspension. But the team stands resolute
in their support of Payton as it was recently reported they will leave his seat
on the team bus, plane and even the meeting room empty for the duration of his
Saints' Tarnished Halo
By: Craig Tattan
Bountygate continues to swirl even though the punishments have been meted out while Drew Brees is still holding out like a prom queen headed for the convent. Head coach Sean Payton is persona non grata this season at any official or unofficial team workouts and even the interim coach, assistant Joe Vitt is out for the first six games on suspension. Who will guide this rudderless ship for the first part of the season is still unknown and teams all across the league are preparing a funeral dirge in gleeful anticipation of burying the Saints.
But contrarians and resolute fans alike are hoping this “us against the world” situation will prove to be a bonding experience that will make this 2012 edition even stronger and more determined than ever before. While New Orleans suffered the pains of no draft picks until the 3rd round, their core is still strong though their defense continues to be suspect. No doubt Brees will return and bring his world class arm with him but whether or not this team is strong enough to brave these uncharted waters is very much a question which won’t be answered until the games are played for real.
Show Us Your Draft Picks
By: Craig Tattan
Saints general manager Mickey Loomis will try to conjure some of that old black magic from down on the bayou this Thursday night because his team will be without a 1st and 2nd round pick in this year's NFL draft. The Saints traded up last year with the Patriots to grab running back Mark Ingram and must now pay them back with this year's 1st rounder. In addition, the NFL penalized the Saints franchise in the aftermath of the Bounty-gate scandal, costing them second round picks in this year's draft and 2013.
Forfeiting their second round pick in consecutive years was only the tip of the iceberg. Head coach Sean Payton will be forced to sit out the entire 2012-2013 season, assistant head coach Joe Vitt gets to take a seat for six games, GM Mickey Loomis has been suspended for eight games while the master of this macabre episode, former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, is out of the league indefinitely.
Adding further fuel to the fire is the suspicion that Mickey Loomis had the Superdome wired for sound and could listen to the radio transmissions of opposing coaches. This makes Bill Belichick's Spy-gate look like good old fashioned due diligence.S The Saints must cull the wheat from the chaff as they are relegated to drafting from the third round on and will finally hear their name called from the podium as they select the 27th player in the 3rd round (162nd overall). Historically, New Orleans has done well with later picks (i.e. Jahri Evans 4th round, Carl Nicks 5th round, Marques Colston 7th round) and they are hoping to turn a downward spiral into a Hail Mary on Thursday night.
Saints March Blindly Without A Leader
By: Craig Tattan
Will players be suspended?
Foxworth succeeds Kevin Mawae as the NFL Players Association president and his
first order of business will be to conclude the investigation into the New
Orleans Saints employment of bounties as a way to incentivize defensive players
to take out the opposition by any means possible. The recently deposed defensive coordinator
Greg Williams was the mastermind of the operation but to be fair, he didn’t
exactly create the wheel with the pay for slay strategy.
have been a part of football for a good long time but it has been hidden within
the alpha male confines of the locker room or in a make shift classroom when
the team meets and reviews game tape. However,
with players getting bigger, stronger and faster the effects of the blows have
manifested in an increasing number of head injuries which have derailed or
ended careers. Even the players realize
it is in their own best interest to put safety above all else. Therefore, in today’s NFL climate the notion
that a team has a standing bounty on certain players is unfathomable and Greg
Williams was the first domino to fall as he was suspended indefinitely while
head coach Sean Payton was slapped with a one year suspension and even general
manager Mickey Loomis was penalized for half a season.
distraction may not be the only consequence of Bounty Gate. The question we have to ask is, will the
players who participated be suspended? The GM and his coaches do not make the tackles or create the fumbles or
pick off errant passes. While defense
wasn’t the cornerstone of the Saints success last season, ranked 30th
in passing yards allowed, it must certainly be factored into their chances of
success in 2012.
As of this
writing NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has not ruled out suspending players but
will wait until he has a full accounting from the new sheriff in town, the
newly installed NFLPA president Domonique Foxworth. Until then, we will have to wait and see who
gets targeted or if the entire sordid mess will simply be an asterisk on the
season going forward.
Off season moves
slapped the franchise tag on Drew Brees and the running back position is
stacked with Pierre Thomas, Darren Sproles and last year’s 1st round
draft pick Mark Ingram. They have
re-signed Marques Colston, Turk McBride, Chase Daniel and filled a void at
linebacker by signing Curtis Lofton. Veteran
wide receiver Robert Meacham departed for the San Diego sunshine but the Saints
look to be loaded once again offensively.
currently hanging a total of 11.5 wins for the 2012 edition of the New Orleans
Saints. NFL odds makers are gauging the
Saints chances at 10-1 which puts them in the upper echelon of those teams
deemed most likely to hoist the Lombardi trophy next season. However, if they don’t sign Brees to a long
term pact, they will have a very unhappy superstar under center and if
Bounty-Gate continues to linger and defensive players are suspended, those odds
could rise and the total could fall. Stay tuned, the situation is still fluid and could get even more
interesting in the coming months.