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Three Saints Veterans Who Could Be Released Before Training Camp
13-11-2018 04:11 AM
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Three Saints Veterans Who Could Be Released Before Training Camp


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The New Orleans Saints have one of the more talented rosters in the NFL. Last year , they won the NFC South and made a run in the playoffs despite multiple injuries at different positions. This offseason, the team clearly focused on adding depth with the majority of their moves in free agency and the draft. They felt comfortable enough with their offseason additions that they released veteran linebackers Michael Mauti and Adam Bighill last week, just a week after letting go of tight end Coby Fleener. Today, we have a look at a few more veterans who could be facing the end of their Saints careers, perhaps even before the team begins mandatory mini-camp in June or training camp in late July. De'Vante Harris, CB Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY SportsHarris has suffered a long dropoff from the beginning of the 2017 season, when he was a starting cornerback in the team's season opener against Minnesota. He came to New Orleans as an undrafted rookie in 2016, and played well enough to be among the top cornerback options for the Saints through training camp last year. He struggled mightily in coverage early in the '17 season, quickly getting benched and used only on special teams units, where his play was often inconsistent at best. The Saints cornerback position is suddenly crowded with talent. Marshon Lattimore is the reigning defensive rookie of the year, and Ken Crawley played well as the starter opposite Lattimore. The team re-signed Patrick Robinson this offseason, a former Saints first round pick who played for New Orleans from 2010-14, and still has P.J. Williams, who intercepted two passes as a part-time starter a year ago. The Saints also expect big improvements from Arthur Maulet, who made the team as an undrafted rookie last year, along with special teams standout Justin Hardee. They then added even more talented competition through the draft, with Natrell Jamerson (5th round), Kamrin Moore (6th round), and Linden Stephens (undrafted), making this perhaps the most hotly contested position on the team entering training camp. Harris has clearly regressed from the player who latched on to a roster spot in the summer of '16 , and faced an uphill battle to make the team to begin with, but now may be jettisoned before the final roster battle begins. Tommylee Lewis, WR/KRPhoto by Chris Graythen/Getty ImagesLewis made the roster as an undrafted free agent in 2016, then held the spot again last year due to standout performances in preseason. The Saints had hoped that he would take over primary kick and punt return duties, while also providing a big play threat as a backup receiver. Lewis has been largely ineffective as a kick returner, averaging less than 10 yards per punt return, just 21 yards per kickoff return, and was replaced by Alvin Kamara on the kick return unit down the stretch last season. He's caught just 17 passes in two seasons, often struggling to consistently make plays in the open field, as was expected of him. The Saints used a 3rd round pick on Tre'quan Smith, acquired Cameron Meredith through free agency, and also re-signed Brandon Coleman. A receiving corps that struggled to produce last year outside of starters Michael Thomas and Ted Ginn looks like it's been significantly upgraded, perhaps leaving Lewis as the odd man out. The return units look deeper as well, with the addition of rookies Natrell Jamerson and Boston Scott, both of whom showed explosive open field abilities in college. Michael Hoomanawanui, TEPhoto by Sean Gardner/Getty Images"Hooman" has been a valuable run blocker and used effectively in the Saints' short yardage packages since his arrival to the team in 2015. He missed the '16 season with a knee injury, but bounced back nicely last year, helping New Orleans to the 5th best rushing attack in the league. Although he has proven to be a decent weapon near the goal line, Hoomanawanui adds little as a receiving threat, limiting the Saints passing options when he's in the lineup. The offseason return of Benjamin Watson , who played for New Orleans from 2013-15, gives the team a dual receiving and blocking factor in the starting lineup. Although the team did not draft a tight end, if the coaching staff feels comfortable with the potential of undrafted rookies Deon Yelder and Cam Serigne, or if they perhaps add another veteran free agent, such as Antonio Gates, then they may decide to cut ties with Hoomanawanui or fellow veteran Josh Hill before camp convenes. There do not appear to be any big name veteran players for New Orleans in jeopardy of being released by June 1, a date when many players throughout the league will be released for salary cap reasons. The recent cuts of Fleener, Mauti, and Bighill does show that the Saints feel comfortable with their offseason attempts to upgrade depth at many positions on the team. New Orleans still will have to make a number of moves as they set their roster limit moving towards the start of training camp. The Saints have 3 OTA sessions between now and their June 12th mini-camp, the first of which begins this week. They've already shown no hesitation in moving on from veterans who performed below their expectations, even coming off of a division championship season. We can expect more moves of the same on what looks to be a New Orleans squad with several deep roster positions.Fleur-de-Links, July 26: Saints Training Camp is here to stay Word on the StreetNews on the New Orleans Saints and from around the NFC South.Saints defense hoping to become a top-5 group in the NFL |"When you look at the pieces that we have, when you look at the commitment of the guys we have and then obviously the talent, I think this defense not only can be, but should be a top-five defense," said safety Kurt Coleman, one of the veteran acquisitions this offseason.Sean Kelley's takeaways from Day 1 of New Orleans Saints training camp presented by VerizonThe most important observation of the day was noting the health of the roster at the start of camp. Wide receiver Brandon Coleman and tight end Michael Hoomanawanui are the only two players on the Physically Unable to Perform list. They both worked through rehab off to the side. All other players who either had injuries related to late last season or this offeseason, or who missed some part of OTAs or mini camp were available. That list includes Michael Thomas, Alex Okafor, Cameron Meredith Womens Alvin Kamara Jersey , Marcus Davenport and Andrus Peat.Mark Ingram closing in on Saints' rushing record in what will be an abbreviated season | theadvocate.comMark Ingram has the number memorized, regurgitating it with ease when asked if he knew how close he was."734?" he responded a bit inquisitively, in case he was a yard or two off.He wasn't.The number is important to Ingram.It represents the number of yards he trails Deuce McAllister on the New Orleans Saints' all-time rushing list.LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda watches first day of Saints training camp | NOLA.comAranda said he reached out to Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen and linebackers coach Mike Nolan about attending the practice session. Aranda already had been at the facility a few times this year, but he wanted to see how the Saints would start their camp. He plans to watch practice again Friday, too.Saints' line turns to 'unsung hero' Max Unger for leadership |"I think Max is one of these guys that's a little bit of an unsung hero for our club," Loomis said. "I think Max is a really good leader in that room, he's a smart player, a tough player."He's seen a lot of things, there's not many things he hasn't seen. He can communicate that and settle the group down."New Orleans Saints ordered to cough up $400K in dispute with Tom Benson's former personal aide | theadvocate.comThe New Orleans Saints violated federal labor law by failing to pay overtime wages to the former personal assistant of late owner Tom Benson, according to an NFL arbitrator who this week ordered the team to cough up nearly $400,000.The arbitrator ordered the Saints to pay $100,000 in overtime to the ex-aide, Rodney Henry, as well as a fee of about $105,000 that Henry's contract guaranteed him if he was dismissed by someone other than Benson.Drew Brees finally makes switch to new helmet -- because his old one is about to be banned |"I'm trying to move into the 21st century here," Brees said. "Turns out my helmet's on the banned list as of next year, so I tried to preemptively get out ahead of that."The Falcons expertly trolled a local news anchor over Julio Jones screensaversThe whole thing is a nice reminder that Twitter can, sometimes, still be fun.Julio Jones of Atlanta Falcons to report to training camp, GM Thomas Dimitroff saysAtlanta Falcons star receiver Julio Jones will report to training camp on Thursday Womens Josh LeRibeus Jersey , general manager Thomas Dimitroff announced late Wednesday night.Team and league sources told ESPN's Chris Mortensen earlier Wednesday that both sides were working to resolve the contract differences that had Jones planning to hold out of camp.Superdome renovation renderings could be produced by end of 2018 | NOLA.comThe Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District unanimously approved a $1.83 million expense Thursday (July 26) for New Orleans-based Trahan Architects to produce a projected cost estimate and construction timeline for what could be a significant overhaul of the New Orleans Saints' home stadium.This is the next step in what the LSED and Thornton have called the investigative phase of the project that Thornton said could "change the look and feel of the Dome."LagniappeThe latest updates from far and wide around the NFL, and the greater world of sports.Big Ben: Bruce Arians to call Steelers-Browns opener - NFL.comBen Roethlisberger revealed Thursday, via Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, that former Cardinals coach and new CBS game analyst Bruce Arians is slated to broadcast Pittsburgh's Week 1 matchup at Cleveland. CBS did not confirm the assignment to the Post-Gazette.Kenny Stills: NFL should have no anthem policy, let players decide for themselves – ProFootballTalk“Obviously I’d like to see there be no policy at all and the guys have a choice to go out there and do what they want to, and we can support each other and the decisions we want to make,” Stills said, via the Miami Herald.Will Jerry Jones be fined for breaking anthem gag order? – ProFootballTalkHere’s a guess: The league won’t do anything, because to fine Jones is to invite a tweet from the Commander-in-Chief chastising the league for attacking Jones for trying to ensure that his employees show proper respect for the flag. If the guess is wrong, maybe it means the league is inching toward a position of no longer caring about the comments of the President.Donald, Rams don't view Aug. 7 deadline to report - NFL.comDespite the potential diminished leverage, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Thursday that the Aug. 7 date is not considered relevant by those involved, according to sources informed of the situation. Without that deadline to spur action, we could be in for an elongated holdout from the reigning Defensive Player of the Year.What is the PUP list? Rules, how it works for NFL injuries | SI.comPlayers who start the preseason on the PUP list may not practice until cleared by team medical personnel. They can attend team meetings and work out. Once cleared, they can return to the field.If a player practices during training camp, they are not eligible for the PUP list. Instead, the team has to cut the player or put them on injured reserve.
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