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Drew Brees or Alvin Kamara? Who Does the Burden Fall on With Mark Ingram Suspended

How much of the focus will be on Alvin Kamara or is it on Drew Brees in 2018 with running back Mark Ingram starting the season on the NFL’s Suspension List?

Saints Waive LB Sae Tautu and Ink DT Taylor Stallworth

The Saints waived linebacker Sae Tautu and signed defensive tackle Taylor Stallworth, an undrafted free agent out of South Carolina, on Tuesday, Amos Morale of the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.

The Saints signed former Brigham Young linebacker Sae Tautu as an undrafted free agent last season but placed him on injured reserve following an MCL injury before releasing him prior to the start of the 2017 season.

New Orleans brought back the 6-foot-3, 245-pound linebacker on a reserve/futures deal in January before cutting him Tuesday.

Stallworth agreed to join the Saints after the 2018 draft, and his signing was made official Tuesday. The 6-foot-2, 305-pound defensive lineman started all 13 games his senior season with the Gamecocks.

Saints Ink QB J.T. Barrett to a Three-Year Contract

The Saints added another former Ohio State football player to their roster, as the team inked QB J.T. Barrett to a three-year deal, Christopher Dabe of the New Orleans Times-Picyaune reports.
NFL Network first reported Tuesday (May 1) that Barrett had inked the deal with the team, putting him on the roster with Drew Brees and backups Taysom Hill and Tom Savage.

In three-plus seasons as a starter, Barrett threw for 9,434 yards and had 104 touchdowns compared to 30 interceptions. He also ran for 3,263 yards and 43 touchdowns.

Saints Earn an ‘C+’ for Their Draft According to ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr.

The draft grades from ‘Draft Guru’ Mel Kiper Jr. are out, and one team that got an average grade is that of the Saints, who according to Kiper got an ‘C+’ for their collection of players over the two days.

Here’s what he had to say:

The Saints had one of the best immediate-return draft classes of the last 10 years this past season. Marshon Lattimore. Ryan Ramczyk. Marcus Williams. Alvin Kamara. Alex Anzalone. I mean … are you kidding? Add that much talent in one shot, then factor in a 39-year-old quarterback, and you figure you might be willing to take a risk or two.

Well, I get it. They have a big need, and they’re going for it. I also have to grade these in a vacuum, and by that measure this class is a big question mark. The Saints gave up a whopper of a package — next year’s first-round pick and a 2018 fifth-rounder — to move up to take Marcus Davenport, a pass-rusher out of Texas-San Antonio. The kid’s got upside, but that’s serious value. This after they were already down a second-rounder in this draft due to a previous trade. Tre’Quan Smith (pick 91) was a decent value at a need position — can Ted Ginn Jr. play forever? — and Rick Leonard (127) is an interesting bet at tackle. Kamrin Moore (189) has the chance to stick in this secondary, though it’s not nearly as thin back there as it was a couple years ago.

The Saints are a Super Bowl contender. It’s clear they feel added pass-rush help could be a difference-maker in that pursuit. If Drew Brees gets another Lombardi, it’ll all be worth it. If not, they gave up a lot.

Round/Pick Name Pos College
1/14 Marcus Davenport DE UT SAN ANTONIO
3/91 Tre’Quan Smith WR UCF
4/127 Rick Leonard OT FLORIDA STATE
5/164 Natrell Jamerson S WISCONSIN
6/189 Kamrin Moore CB BOSTON COLLEGE
6/201 Boston Scott RB LOUISIANA TECH
7/245 Will Clapp G LSU

After Moving Up; Saints Draft UTSA DE Marcus Davenport in Round One of the NFL Draft

The Saints got the guy they wanted with the 14th pick of Thursday’s NFL Draft, as the team picked up UTSA defensive end Marcus Davenport after moving up in the draft.

The Saints traded their first-round pick this year (No. 27), a fifth-rounder (No. 147) and their first-round pick in 2019 to the Green Bay Packers to land Davenport, a former Texas-San Antonio star who figures to bolster New Orleans’ pass rush.

The Saints have a long history of moving up in the first round to draft a player they covet. This marks the sixth time they’ve done it in general manager Mickey Loomis’ tenure, dating to 2003.

Although the cost of two first-round picks might seem like a fortune on the surface, coach Sean Payton pointed out that the Saints hope both of the picks wind up coming late in the round, which made the value perfectly fair on their chart.

“This was one that was easy,” said Payton, who made no apologies about New Orleans’ aggressive trading history in the draft. “Look, these were the same questions last year when we moved our second-round pick for Alvin Kamara. And that appeared to be ‘ahhh’ a lot. And yet, shoot, what’s our country’s national debt? I mean, hopefully we’re [just] talking about a late first-round pick next year.”

Report: Saints Looking to Make a Big Move to Leap from 27 in the First Round of the Draft

The Saints have reportedly made numerous phone calls about making “a big leap up” in the first round from No.27 according to Ian Rapoport of

Usually when an NFL team tries to move up that far in the draft, they are looking for a franchise quarterback. Needless to say, the Saints currently have one of the best QBs in the business in Drew Brees but he is 39 years old and they may be looking for his successor in what is considered an extremely strong quarterback draft. The question is who they could be targeting. It seems unlikely they could move into the top 10 as they have only limited chips to bargain with, given the team has no second-round pick this year.

They were linked heavily to Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield early in the process, but he may end up being the No. 1 overall pick and looks certain to come off the board in the top-ten as will USC’s Sam Darnold. But they could be in play for UCLa’s Josh Rosen, Wyoming’s Josh Allen, or Louisville’s Lamar Jackson-particularly if one of those three seem to be falling during the draft.

Giving up a first-round pick in 2019 would be a steep price for the Saints to pay. That said, this is a team without glaring weaknesses they need to address. Preparing for the post-Brees future might be a smart move.

Saints Announce 2018 Preseason Schedule

Today the Saints announced the four teams they will play in the preseason in 2018, and those teams will include Jaguars, Cardinals, Chargers and Rams.

Here’s the info on the preseason for New Orleans.

The Saints will play their first preseason contest on the road for the fifth consecutive year when they open against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field. This will be the first time that the Saints play the Jaguars in the preseason on the road, having dropped a 27-24 decision to the Jaguars on Aug. 17, 2012 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in their only other preseason meeting. The Saints are 25-26 in preseason openers all-time.

In preseason Week Two, New Orleans will be the home team for the first time in 2018 and host the Arizona Cardinals at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Saints have a perfect 5-0 preseason record against the Cardinals, the only team they have played an exhibition against who they have not lost to.

In Week Three, the Saints will head west to face the Los Angeles Chargers at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., the second consecutive preseason the teams will face off in Southern California. The contest will be played on Saturday, Aug. 25 at 7 p.m. CT and will be nationally televised on CBS. The Saints defeated the Chargers on Aug. 20, 2017, 13-7. The Chargers have a 4-3 edge in the preseason series.

The Saints will close out the preseason at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome against the Los Angeles Rams prior to the roster cutdown to 53 players. It will be the third consecutive year that the team has finished the preseason at home. It will be first time the Saints have hosted the Rams in the preseason. New Orleans will also host the Rams during the regular season. The Rams have a 2-1 edge in the preseason series.

The Jaguars, Cardinals and Rams preseason contests will be broadcast regionally on Raycom, available in the New Orleans area on Fox-8. All four games can be heard on the Saints Radio Network, in the New Orleans area on WWL Radio (870 AM and 105.3 FM). Exact dates and kickoff times for the Jacksonville, Arizona and Rams contests will be announced in the near future.

Saints Gain WR Cameron Meredith After Bears Decline to Match Offer Sheet

The Bears declined to match the Saints’ two-year, $10 million offer sheet to restricted free agent wide receiver Cameron Meredith on Wednesday, a source told Adam Schefter of ESPN.

Bears general manager Ryan Pace and coach Matt Nagy met with Meredith to inform him of decision, the source said. The Bears’ call was mainly a medical decision as Meredith is coming off a torn ACL and MCL, and the team was hesitant to commit that much money to a player coming off such a serious knee injury.

The Bears had issued an original-round tender to Meredith, valued at $1.9 million, so the Bears receive no draft pick compensation from the Saints because Meredith was an undrafted free agent.

Meredith, 25, had a breakout season in 2016 with 66 receptions for 888 yards four touchdowns, but suffered the devastating knee injury in a preseason game last summer at Tennessee.