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NFL News: Saints Still Have No Deal In Place For Top Draft Pick, Others

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That’s certainly not good for the Saints as starting right defensive end Will Smith is expected to be suspended, but a possible solution while he is gone is to move left defensive end Alex Brown, who played on the right side with the Bears, over into his place.

Ideally they would probably like to have Jordan, a left defensive end, take over for Brown.

Recently the Saints signed defensive end Turk McBride, who had five sacks with the Lions in 2010, and he plays on the right side as well giving them another option to fill in for Smith while he is suspended.

Center Johnathan Goodwin remains un-signed. a three-year starter on the offensive line. He took over for Jeff Faine in 2008 after he signed with the Buccaneers where he has been a steady performer ever since.

Matt Tennant, a fifth round selection out of Boston College last year, is ready to take over starting duties with the Saints if Goodwin does not return. Head coach Sean Payton has been pleased with how well Tennant has responded thus far in training camp with his increased workload.

Full back Heath Evans and tight end David Thomas have not returned to the Saints yet, and while Evans may be done after the teams signing of Packer full back Korey Hall, Thomas should be a priority for the Saints to re-sign.

Thomas joined the Saints by way of the Patriots, who traded a seventh round pick in the 2011 draft to acquire him, after a rash of injuries to the tight end position during training camp.

He has developed into a reliable target for Drew Brees the last two seasons hauling in 65 catches for 575 yards and three touchdowns primarily in a backup role.

The Saints released tight end Jeremy Shockey earlier this year to allow promising second-year tight Jimmy Graham to step up into a starting role. Depth is a concern for the Saints, as is experience, and Thomas is just too valuable to let leave in free agency.

New Orleans came to terms with two more veteran players today, re-signing backup offensive lineman/tigh end Zach Strief and righ tackle Carl Nicks, who agreed to his one-year tender offer this afternoon.

Now that Nicks has re-signed the Saints have maintained every starter on their offensive line, considered to be tops in the league, with exception to Goodwin.

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