4/1 – Saints agree to terms with DE Kenyon Coleman & QB Luke McCown on one-year deals
Kenyon Coleman, 34, has been around since 2002, and well, he’s been around (5 different teams, including the Cowboys twice). With Rob Ryan at the helm, Coleman provides his knowledge in teaching the 3-4 defense. McCown was with the Falcons enemy for 2012 after being on the Saints roster during pre-season. I will just say this, I hope, pray, wish Drew Brees never goes down.
4/8 – Saints agree to terms with S Jim Leonard on one-year deal
Leonard is on the wrong side of 30, and due to turn 31 in October. He didn’t exactly do a ton with the Broncos in terms of stats last season, but he still brings depth to the secondary, and it won’t hurt. He also provides Kick & Punt Return abilities.
4/11 – Saints agree to terms with OT Jason Smith on one-year deal
Jason Smith was labeled as just another failed draft pick. In 2009, he was selected #2 overall by the St. Louis Rams. He has size at 6’5” and 308 pounds, and the Jets used him in some Tackle Eligible Tight End situations last season, which benefits the Saints in that aspect, let’s just hope the lad can get things back on track, he has a great group surrounding him.
4/15 – Saints sign QB Seneca Wallace to a one-year deal
Wallace was a signing where a lot of Saints fans were wondering, wait, what? Typically, we only see two QBs on a Sean Payton roster during the season. Wallace will be in heavy contention with McCown for the primary backup role.
4/19 – Saints re-sign RB Chris Ivory to a one-year deal (sign tender)
It was short lived, but at the time, we had him for sure for 2013.
4/22 – Saints sign LB Scott Fujita to one day contract, and retires a Saint
Fujita’s career was sadly done in by injury. He played 10 seasons in the NFL, and his career spanned from Kansas City to Dallas to New Orleans to Cleveland. Fujita was a huge piece in the Payton Era, as he came on board in 2006, and would play the next four seasons with the Saints. Fujita went out on top, and we’re proud he chose to retire a Saint.
4/25 – Saints draft S Kenny Vaccaro (Texas) with the #15 Overall Pick
A mixed reaction when this was first announced, but back on my other site, I wrote an article on the Top 5 Reasons Why Vaccaro Makes Sense for the Saints. I still believe it’s the right move, and I only look forward to what he brings to the Rob Ryan led defense.
4/26 – Saints draft OT Terron Armstead (University of Ark-Pine Bluff) with the #75 Overall Pick, trade RB Chris Ivory to the Jets, and draft DT John Jenkins (Georgia) with the #82 Overall Pick
Huge wins for the Saints, as they addressed offseason needs. Armstead’s potential is something to watch out for, as he will be in contention for Jermon Bushrod’s old job, and everyone was just impressed at his 40-yard dash. Be sure to look that up if you haven’t seen that video from the combine, by the way. Ivory being traded enabled us to move into position to draft John Jenkins, who looks to cause some havoc at NT in the 3-4 scheme. Both great moves for the Saints, and helped their cause for a stellar draft.
4/27 – Saints draft WR Kenny Stills of Oklahoma with the 5th Round Pick, #144 Overall, draft DE/OLB Rufus Johnson of Tarleton State with 6th Round Pick, #183 Overall
Stills makes immediate impacts for the offense, or will at least be called upon to. He has very nice speed, and good hands. Rufus Johnson comes from the small school of Tarleton State, and you know Sean Payton loves the smaller schools. I could see Johnson being a real project for Ryan to help mold.
4/28 – Saints bring in a host of UDFAs: QB Ryan Griffin (Tulane), LB Kevin Riddick (North Carolina), OL Elliot Mealer (Michigan), CB Ryan Lacy (Utah), LB Chase Thomas (Stanford), TE Keaven Milton (University of Louisiana-Monroe), DE Eric Martin (Nebraska), LB Ray Shipman (Central Florida), CB Roderick Sweeting (Georgia Tech), RB Shawne Alston (West Virginia), G Tim Lelito (Grand Valley State), TE Josh Hill (Idaho State), DE Glenn Foster (Illinois)
While most of these names won’t be around next season, (and some have already been waived – Alston & Lacy), there’s some real gems in this bunch. While it may take some time to see them evolve, the big ones my focused attention are on? Chase Thomas & Ryan Griffin.