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New Orleans Saints and NFL: Top News and Video Clips

When NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock looks at the Detroit Lions, one thought comes to his mind. The New Orleans Saints. Mayock believes Detroit resembles New Orleans more than any other team when he watches the Lions play. Both squads have outstanding quarterbacks, dynamic offenses and defenses that are similar to him.

Foremost among them are the contracts of outside linebacker Mario Williams and running back Arian Foster. Williams can become an unrestricted free agent and potentially command the richest contract for a defensive player in league history. Foster will be a restricted free agent who could be pursued by another club. While general manager Rick Smith and coach Gary Kubiak worry about roster construction, and while many analysts like this one predict continued big things for the franchise

Welker had a remarkable 2011 season (122 receptions, 1569 yards, 9  touchdowns) despite the disappointment of his last play. Regardless, his rapport  with Tom  Brady and prolific work product in New England — 554 receptions in five  seasons — speaks for him being retained. My sense is Welker will return to the Patriots, whether via a long-term deal  or the Tag. Bill Belichick had long coveted Welker when he played for Miami and  the Patriots will be competitive with Welker as long as his contract demands are  not astronomical.

Preliminary contract talks between the Ravens and quarterback Joe Flaccoare expected to launch at the NFL scouting combine, according to Flacco’s agent, Joe Linta.”I would expect that Pat Moriarty and I will get together for a few minutes at the combine to chat,” Linta said. Determining Flacco’s value in comparison to other NFL quarterbacks is the primary issue in what could become a complicated negotiation. Heading into the final year of his original rookie deal, Flacco, 27, is due a $6.76 million base salary after triggering a $5.4 million escalator clause through his performance in the first four years of the contract.

The team is in the process of granting the veteran cornerback permission to seek a trade, sources told to Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. Spencer, 30, has spent all eight of his NFL seasons in San Francisco, but he fell to fifth on the depth chart this past season and didn’t suit up for the 49ers’ two playoff games.

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Tags: 2012 NFL Free Agency Antonio Rodgers-Cromartie Asante Samuel Draft Picks Jabari Greer Leigh Torrence Malcolm Jenkins New Orleans Saints NFL Draft Nnamdi Asomugha Philadelphia Eagles Roman Harper Steve

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