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New Orleans Saints: Harper And Thomas Sign Tender Offer But What Of Long Term Contracts


The Saints and general manager Mickey Loomis announced Tuesday that restricted free agents Pierre Thomas and Roman Harper both have re-signed and agreed to the teams tender offers.

Safety Roman Harper had been attending team activites and recent mini-camp practices in hopes of securing a long term deal while running back Pierre Thomas had purposefully held out in hopes of his new deal.

The sudden signing of both players stemmed from the fact that a deadline loomed that would have allowed the Saints to lower both offers to 110 percent of their 2009 salary.

That means that Harper would have made roughly $600K during the 2010-2011 season, a far cry from the $2.52M tender offer, and Thomas would have made $506K instead of the tender offer of $1.68M.

Harper, a 2006 second round pick of the Saints, has proved to be a valuable commodity in the secondary posting 307 tackles, 6.5 sacks, 25 pass deflections, three interceptions and six forced fumbles so far in his career as a Saint.

Thomas has become the Saints leading rusher over the last two seasons after being signed as undrafted free agent in 2007 out of the University of Illinois rushing for 1,670 yards and 16 touchdowns as a part time starter.

Both deserve new long term deals and you can be sure the team thinks so. The Saints however will not over pay for a players services, just see the Darren Sharper fiasco, and rumor has it that Thomas is seeking a very lucrative long term contract.

At first glance it appears the Saints and Thomas’ agent Lamont Smith are pretty far apart in terms of the money desired so the very real fact remains that Thomas may hold out well into training camp.

Harper on the other hand seems to have a better chance to reach agreeable terms with the team than Thomas but he too is a candidate to hold out come the start of training camp.

The only thing guranteed between the Saints and both Harper and Thomas regarding their long term contracts is the long term part, meaning it may be while before any progress is made.