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The team will try to trade Samuel before the NFL Draft begins on April 26, according to a Sunday report in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Samuel, 31, is set to make $8.4 million in base salary next season with a salary cap hit of $9.5 million as part of the contract he signed with the Eagles in 2008.

It still is unclear if coach Sean Payton will attend the meeting. Coaches generally are required to be at this meeting and Payton technically still is the coach of the Saints until he begins a one-year suspension April 1. The team has yet to announce how it plans to proceed in Payton’s absence. But I suspect we’ll find out much more in the next few days.

We’ve been Saints fans for a long time, traveling that long road from wearing paper bags on our heads to proudly wearing Super Bowl Championship attire. The franchise has apologized, and seems poised to move on. Saints fans should do the same. We’re used to being knocked down, but we always pick ourselves up, whether it’s a losing season or Hurricane Katrina or an oil spill. We are a resilient bunch. We will come back better and stronger.

When Hall of Fame tailback Tony Dorsett was getting slammed to the turf in the 1970s, or Super Bowl-winning QB Joe Theismann’s leg was being gruesomely broken by Lawrence Taylor in the 1980s, it was just football. Now things are different. Scientific studies show head trauma can leave long-term damage. Hundreds of former players are suing the NFL in federal court, saying they weren’t protected properly from injury. Congress is paying close attention

The first wave of free agency has passed and we now head into Week 2. There’s still a healthy load of talent out there that could help your team and we’ve ranked them from 1 to 75 to give an idea of the options that remain. Here’s our Top 75 for the available free agents, updating as we go … (As of March 24th, 09:00am ET)

Sean Payton won’t coach the New Orleans Saints next season, but offensive lineman Zach Strief wants to ensure the team’s leader isn’t forgotten. Strief said Friday that players “owe it” to their embattled coach to come closer together, live up to the standards he set during the previous six seasons and do everything they can to win in his honor while he’s away on an NFL suspension. “This season is going to take on an us-versus-the-world mentality,” Strief told The Associated Press. “The perception at this point is not positive with us. We’ve worked very hard, I know as players, to gain respect, not only as a good team but as a good group of guys. That perception will go completely out the window now, and I think that’ll be kind of a rallying cry for us.

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Tags: 2012 NFL Free Agency Asante Samuel Bounty Gate Drew Brees New Orleans Saints Philadelphia Eagles Sean Payton The Saints

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