Saints Coach Sean Payton Comments on Meeting with QB Johnny Manziel

Saints coach Sean Payton said he had a “good” breakfast meeting with former Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel during this year’s Super Bowl in Houston. But Payton added that any speculation around the Saints signing Manziel because the two met would be false, Larry Holder of the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.
Manziel’s numerous missteps have been well documented the past couple of years. Payton said he simply wanted to meet Manziel to get to know him.

“It gave me an opportunity to meet him,” Payton said Wednesday morning at the NFL owners meetings. “I was out in Houston for three days for the Super Bowl, and I understand he was. It was the first time just having a chance to talk to him. I’ll really leave it at that because it’s just what it was.

“I’m sure he’s got a handful of things that he has to do step-wise to get himself back in position to sign with a club and play football again. It made sense for me to get to know him a little bit.”

Payton bristled at the insinuation that signing Manziel would occur just because they had a meal together.

“There’s a handful of things that he’d have to do,” Payton said. “I think part of the report that insinuated that it was moving in that direction, I think that was false. And now I’m sitting here answering 15 questions of a reporter’s report.

“I met with him. We had a good breakfast. That was that.”

Deal Appears in Place for Saints to Snag CB Malcolm Butler

The Saints are ‘enamored’ with Malcolm Butler and that the parameters for a deal between the team and the cornerback are ‘mostly’ in place, Mike Girardi of CSN New England reports.

Once the Saints and Butler have reached agreement, the ball goes back into the Patriots’ court. They can either match the offer or let Butler go to New Orleans at the cost of the Saints’ first-round draft choice.

The third option, of course, is that the teams work out a trade, but that’s contingent on Butler signing the contract the Patriots tendered him prior to free agency. If he’s unsigned, he can’t be traded.

Saints Ink DT Nick Fairley to Four-Year Deal

The Saints and Nick Fairley agreed to a four-year contract Thursday, Josh Katzenstein of the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.

Salary figures were not immediately available, but NFL Network reported it’s worth almost $30 million.

The 29-year-old defensive tackle, who became an unrestricted free agent last month after his contract automatically voided, was the Saints’ best free-agent acquisition of 2016 as he made an instant impact on the interior and finished with the best season of his career. He finished the year with 6.5 sacks, nine tackles for loss and 22 quarterbacks hits.

For Fairley, signing what was effectively a one-year prove-it deal ended up paying off as he had a stellar season with the Saints and earned a big pay day.

Saints Shopping WR Brandin Cooks; Talking to Eagles and Titans

One interesting Saints tidbit from the combine today is the fact that the team is shopping wide out Brandin Cooks, who last season had 73 catches for 1173 yards and eight scores.

Cooks is a quality wide out, and the team better make sure they get good value back giving up a player who was the 20th overall pick in the 2014 draft.

Sean Payton said less than two weeks ago he expects Cooks to be back in 2017:

“Absolutely I do,” Payton told Tom Pelissero, the USA Today NFL reporter hosting the show Shein on Sports. “And, really, if you really want to cut down to the chase, he’s a magnificent kid–a worker, he’s not a kid anymore. He’s a tremendous player. He practices 100 miles per hour. You have to slow him down some. He’s got a great rapport with Drew.”

PFT has this tidbit on the possible trade:

Cooks is under contract for a very affordable salary of $1.56 million this season. A team that trades for him would surely either work out a new deal or pick up his fifth-year option for 2018.

Two teams can verbally agree on a trade now, but it can’t become official until the league year starts on March 9.

Sean Payton Says Thanks to the Five Coaches the Saints Fired

Sean Payton

The Saints made coaching changes on Friday as the team announced they have fired five coaches. reports that coach (for now) Sean Payton said ‘thank you’ to those five coaches for what they brought to the team.

Here’s the Story:

The Saints on Friday formally announced the firing of five assistant coaches.

The firings were first reported on Thursday by the Sporting News. The formal announcement on Friday included a statement from head coach Sean Payton on the firings.

“I would like to thank all of these coaches for the work they have done for this club,” Payton said. “Specifically, Bill [Johnson], Greg [McMahon] and Joe [Vitt] played a key role on teams that helped create a very special time in franchise history. They played an instrumental role in the development of countless players both on and off the field. I appreciate the contributions that these men have made to this team and wish them continued success.”

Saints to Play in London in 2017; Will Play Miami in Late September or Early October


The NFL Today announced that the New Orleans Saints will be one of the teams playing a game in London in 2017. The Saints will play as a road team against the AFC East’s Miami Dolphins.

The Saints and Dolphins will play on one of two dates according to the release, those dates being either September 24th or October 1st.

Normally after playing in London the following week the teams that play overseas have a bye, so once the date in announced you can mark the following week that the Saints will be on the bye.

New Orleans did play in London a few years back, falling to the San Diego Chargers.

Mistake Filled Saints Fall at Home 28-13 to the Lions

Detroit Lions v New Orleans Saints

Matthew Stafford passed for 341 yards and two touchdowns, and the Lions beat the mistake-prone Saints, 28-13 on Sunday.

Golden Tate exploited a coverage breakdown on third-and-long for a 66-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter when Detroit (8-4) was clinging to a six-point lead. The Lions, who’ve won seven of eight, dominated statistically, but four opportunities inside the New Orleans 20 ended with Matt Prater field goals, allowing the Saints (5-7) to stay close until the fourth quarter.

This time, however, the Lions pulled away for their most comfortable victory of the season after seven previous victory margins of one to seven points.

The Lions also became the first team in 60 Saints home games to stop Drew Brees from completing a touchdown pass, although tight end Coby Fleener had a pass bounce off his hands at the goal line. Brees finished 31 of 44 for 326 yards and was intercepted three times, once each by Glover Quin, Tavon Wilson and Miles Killebrew.

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Saints Dominate Rams 49-21 As Brees Throws For Four TDs and 310 Yards

Los Angeles Rams v New Orleans Saints

Drew Brees passed for 310 yards and four touchdowns, Mark Ingram scored twice, and the New Orleans Saints defeated the Los Angeles Rams, 49-21 on Sunday.

Playing 10 days after being knocked unconscious in a Thursday night loss at Carolina, Ingram rushed for 146 yards on 14 carries, including a 61-yard scamper and a 10-yard touchdown on a fourth-and-1 play. He also scored on a 21-yard screen to the right side of the field, which was wide open as the Rams tried to pressure Brees.

Two of Brees’ scoring strikes went to Michael Thomas, whose touchdowns of 6 and 21 yards were part of a nine-catch, 108-yard performance. Brees’ other touchdowns went to Ingram and Brandon Coleman from 6 yards out.

Saints coach Sean Payton also victimized his former defensive coordinator, Gregg Williams, with some razzle-dazzle that produced a 50-yard touchdown pass from receiver Willie Snead to running back Tim Hightower.

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