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New Orleans Saints and NFL: Top News and Video Clips

Those two words from Bill Parcells in an e-mail to USA TODAY Sports on Tuesday apparently set the record straighton whether the Hall of Fame-credentialed coach will dust off his clipboard to run the New Orleans Saints for the 2012 season. So what now? With head coach Sean Payton‘s one-year suspension set to begin Monday, the bounty-scarred Saints seem poised to fill the gap from within.

New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees didn’t offer any insight as to whether he’ll attend the team’s voluntary offseason program that starts Monday. “We’re continuing to work on a long-term deal,” Brees told reporters at the La Costa Resort & Spa in California, where he was speaking at a news conference to promote his charity golf tournament. Asked the same question several different ways, Brees gave the same answer.

Though Drew Brees largely sidestepped questions Tuesday about the New Orleans Saints‘ “bounty” scandal, the quarterback maintained his team had been improperly punished by the NFL. Brees said at a news conference in Carlsbad, Calif., for his May charity golf tournament that a distinction needed to be made between “pay for performance” and a reward system for injuring players. “I would say what we’ve been accused of in regards to pay for injury is not the case,” Brees said.

New York Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes, who famously feuded with quarterback Mark Sanchez last season, is reportedly spending this week working out with Sanchez and other teammates in Orlando, Fla. Holmes’ trainer, Tom Shaw told the Star-Ledger on Tuesday that the receiver personally invited Sanchez, tight end Dustin Keller and receiver Patrick Turner to Florida, where Holmes spends his offseasons.

There are rumors worth mentioning and rumors worth ignoring. The rumor involving a possible trade of Bengals linebacker Keith Rivers heading to the Giants is now worth paying attention to. The source is the key. Mike Garafolo of The Star-Ledger tracked down the rumor, which started on a Giants message board. That’s usually not the most reliable place for information to start. But Garafolo is one of the best reporters in the game. When he checked the story out, no one told him that he was on the wrong track. He said there is some fire to this smoke. Rivers is currently in New York and the Bengals were reportedly looking to move him after re-signing Manny Lawson last week.

Tags: 2011 NFL Draft 2012 Nfl Draft Ben Grubbs Bill Parcells Brodrick Bunkley Carl Nicks Chris Chamberlain Curtis Lofton Dan Marino Darren Sproles David Hawthorne Drew Brees Green Bay Packers Gregg Williams Joe Vitt Mark Ingram Marques Colston Miami Dolphins Mickey Loomis New Orleans Saints Reggie Bush Roger Goodell San Diego Chargers San Francisco 49′ers Sean Pamphilon Sean Payton Seattle Seahawks St. Louis Rams Super Bowl XLIV Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tom Benson Vernon Davis