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Saints Leading Wide Out Michael Thomas Fails to Report to the Start of Camp

Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas did not report for the start of training camp according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.

Thomas has been in negotiations with the Saints for weeks but apparently he has decided not to show up until a deal gets done. The 2016 second-round pick out of Ohio State reportedly seeking upwards of $20 million annually in contract talks, which would make him the highest-paid receiver in football. In contrast, he is set to make a paltry $1.15 millon in the final year of his rookie deal.

And it could be argued that no wideout in football is more important to his team’s offense than Thomas.

The 26-year-old led the NFL with 125 catches last season with 1,405 yards and nine touchdowns while garnering All-Pro status at wide receiver. The Saints have every intention of getting a deal done but seem to be waiting for Julio Jones and Amari Cooper to set the wideout market.

It seems doubtful that Thomas’s holdout could carry on into the regular season but it is a situation worth monitoring.

Saints Inking Former Jets Linebacker Josh Martin

The Saints are trying out a new linebacker for camp, as reports say that the team is bringing in former New York Jets linebacker Josh Martin.

Martin made a name for himself in 2017, but he dealt with a concussion last season and only appeared in one game, it remains to be seen if he can make any impact for the Saints.

Video – A Saints Belief: The Story of the 2018 New Orleans Saints

The 2018 season was the New Orleans Saints’ 52nd in the National Football League, their 43rd at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and their 12th under head coach Sean Payton.

Three Questions About the Saints as Training Camp Gets Closer

It was one of the most painful moments in Saints history when the Los Angeles Rams escaped the NFC Title game with a win that clearly should have went the Saints way.

A pass interference call that wasn’t called killed the Saints, and a turnover in overtime did not help matters as the team simply did not get the job done.

The team has to put the postseason of 2018 behind them, and start to re-install the confidence of what good things the team did to put them in a position to host the NFC Title Game in January.

Today we take a look at three questions about this team as camp closes in at the end.

1. Will There Be a NFC Title Game Hangover?

The team did not show any ill effects of the NFC Divisional Title game loss to the Vikings on the last play back in January 2018, and now they have to do the same from last year’s NFC Title game against the Rams.

There has to be the same intensity that the team showed early in the year, not showing any give or allowing the loss to the Rams and the poor non-call late in the game to sit in their heads.

The start of the 2018 season was a loss to the Bucs, but after that they reeled off 10 wins before another loss. They need to do that again in 2019.

2. Will Brees be Able to Play as Well as in 2018?

You can’t help but wonder now at 40 years old if Drew Brees will be able to have the same physical capabilities as he had 2-3 seasons ago.

He was outstanding in 2018, finishing second to Pat Mahomes for the league MVP, throwing 32 touchdowns to just five picks.

He’s the leader of the team, and there’s no doubt that he’s doing his part with his strict training regimen, but here’s hoping that he won’t break down and that the line will keep him upright.

3. Can the Defense Be Better?

The Saints defense ranked 14th in points allowed as well as in yards allowed, and while they stepped up at times in big games, they can be even better in 2019.

Cam Jordon is one of the best defensive players in the NFC, last season putting up 12 sacks and having some excellent games.

While he will be the leader on the line, there were some moments when the backfield could have played better, including the NFC Title game when the Saints built an early lead only to not finish it off.

More turnovers, not allowing big plays, those are the types of things a championship team does, and to win a title the Saints D needs to turn it up a notch in 2019.

Check Out the Madden 20 Rankings for All the Saints Players

Monday was a day that many gaming fans wait for each year, the day that the most popular sports series of all-time puts out their player rankings.

That game of course is Madden football, and this year Madden 20 is once again going to be a game played by millions who are into the NFL and video games.

One aspect of the game is player rankings, and the top Saints player on the list is wide out Michael Thomas who comes in at 95.

Quarterback Drew Brees is at a 91 ranking, while defensive end Cam Jordan sits with a mark of 91.

Check out all the Saints Rankings by clicking HERE.

Video – Football Gameplan’s 2019 NFL Team Preview: New Orleans Saints

00:47 – 4-Minute Offense

2:28 – Positional Breakdown

9:43 – Hunt’s Playbook

14:50 – Fantasy Focus

18:18 – Best Bets

18:56 – Training Camp Quick Takes

22:30 – Road to the Super Bowl

Saints Coach Sean Payton Feels Coaches May Be More Careful with Challenge Flags

After his team was robbed of a chance to go to the Super Bowl following an egregious non-call in the NFC Championship Game, Sean Payton spearheaded the campaign to get pass interference reviewable this offseason.

NFL owners ultimately agreed, changing the rule to allow coaches to challenge such plays, and the review booth to look at PI under two minutes.

One concern about the new rule is that it could bog down play, with tedious reviews elongating contests even further.

Joining NFL Network’s Total Access from the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship in Lake Tahoe Thursday, Payton suggested that the looming ability to challenge PI calls and non-calls could push coaches to be more judicious with their challenge flags early in contests, Kevin Patra of NFL.com reports.

“Let’s start with the very first premise for the fans: It’s still just like all the other challenges that we have in place,” Payton said.

“Remember we only have two to start with. So, I don’t think you’re going to see more challenge flags. Probably you’re going to be a little bit more judicious knowing that you want to have at least one left and if you feel like there’s something you see clearly and it’s outside of two minutes as a coach you can challenge it.

“And of course, inside of two minutes, it goes upstairs to replay. And we’re all, in this day and age with our technology and with the fans getting a chance to see real-time, we’re wanting those calls, especially in games like that, to be officiated correctly.”

Saints Rookie DE Carl Granderson Sentenced to Six Months for Sexual Battery Case

Saints rookie defensive end Carl Granderson was sentenced to six months in jail after pleading no contest to his pending sexual battery case according to Davis Potter of CS Tribune.

The Saints knew about the case when they signed Granderson as an undrafted free agent out of Wyoming in April. Coach Sean Payton claimed the team was “real comfortable” with everything it knew about the case but we suspect Granderson’s roster spot is in serious jeopardy in light of the jail sentence.

Granderson was a three-year starter on the Cowboys’ defensive front but his sack production dipped from 9.5 as a junior to 3.0 as a senior, he fell from first- to second-team All-Mountain West, and he underwhelmed at the NFL Scouting Combine in February.