New Orleans Saints: Top news and video clips

Today, ESPN’s Adam Schefter adds a new team to the mix: the New Orleans  Saints. Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is expected to join Jeff Fisher in St. Louis. New Orleans finished 28th  in total defense, according to Football Outsiders. The Saints,  whose season ended with a 36-32 loss to the 49ers yesterday, allowed 21.2 points  per game (13th) during the regular season.

New Orleans’ salary-cap situation for 2012 isn’t quite as bad as early reports made it sound. League-wide cap figures had the Saints listed with about $106 million already committed toward the 2012 salary cap. It turns out that number is about $12 million too high. That’s because the figure was including a charge of almost $12 million for quarterback Drew Brees. But 2012 was voided out of Brees’ contract, so the Saints are, for the moment, sitting at about $94 million.

Of course, nothing would be guaranteed for the Saints if they had won — the  actual events of this weekend proved that. But it would feel guaranteed. Right  now, Saints fans would expect the Saints’ second Super Bowl win in the Brees  era, and they would tease themselves with questions like “Doesn’t this feel like  a dynasty?” And: “Isn’t Brees just 33, younger than Tom Brady, and younger and  healthier than Peyton Manning?” And: “Why do Frosted Flakes taste so good with  bourbon?”

San Francisco 49ers safety Donte Whitner‘s helmet-to-helmet hit that sent New Orleans Saints running back Pierre Thomas to the locker room early during Saturday’s NFC Divisional Playoff Game was legal, according to the NFL. Whitner wasn’t penalized because the tackle wasn’t against a defenseless player. Helmet-to-helmet hits are banned against defenseless players in eight categories, and a runner isn’t one of those categories. Thomas was considered a runner because he’d made a catch, turned and made a “football move” before being hit.

“When you’ve been to the Super Bowl, anything less is a disappointment.”The comment, made by a New Orleans Saints official as the San Francisco 49ers were immersed in a wild celebration on the field at Candlestick Park on Saturday, was somber, but fitting commentary regarding the stunning conclusion to the 2011 season for the Black and Gold. Moments before, 49ers tight end Vernon Davis transformed a bunch of records set this season by the Saints into meaning statistics with “The Grab,” a moment forever etched in NFL history.

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Tags: Aubrayo Franklin Brent Grimes Brooks Reed Carl Nicks Carlos Rogers Cliff Avril Drew Brees Gregg Williams Houston Texans Jack Del Rio Jeff Fisher Malcolm Jenkins Mark Ingram Marques Colston Martez Wilson Mercedes-Benz Superdome Mickey Loomis Mike Nolan New England Patriots New Orleans Saints NFL Combine NFL Draft Robert Mathis Roman Harper San Francisco 49′ers Shaun Rogers St. Louis Rams Steve Spagnuolo Tony Oden Tracy Porter Vernon Davis

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