Dec 29, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) and running back Pierre Thomas (23) congratulate wide receiver Robert Meachem (17) after his touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first half at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports
As we draw closer to March 11th, the news picks up each day. I won’t waste any time, let’s jump right into it!
Larry Holder | NOLA.com | Agent for running back Pierre Thomas says New Orleans Saints have reached out to discuss Thomas’ future
"The agent for New Orleans Saints running back Pierre Thomas said Tuesday the team has reached out to discuss Thomas’ future with the Saints. But Lamont Smith, Thomas’ agent, wouldn’t comment on what those talks meant for Thomas’ future.Thomas is entering the final year of his contract with the Saints and is set to count $2.9 million against the 2014 salary cap. With the Saints in a financial bind heading into 2014, Thomas could be a candidate to become a salary cap casualty as the Saints would save all of Thomas’ $2.9 million cap figure with no dead money attached."
I don’t look at Thomas to be a cap casualty for the Saints, and to be honest, I’d look at Lance Moore first. He has a higher cap number at $5M this season, but would carry dead money of $2.5M. Thomas could be a prime candidate for an extension, and it seems as though he’d be willing to discuss the options. I believe Thomas should remain on the team, there’s no question about it. In such a crowded backfield however, one easily wins an argument that no Saints runner should be paid as a top-tier back.
Mike Triplett | ESPN.com | Free-agent spotlight: WR Robert Meachem
"Projection: I could definitely see Meachem returning in a similar role this year. The Saints obviously showed how much they value him last year when they re-signed him so quickly. And they reportedly have shown interest in bringing him back again this year.However, it will be interesting to see what happens if fellow deep threat/blocking specialist Joe Morgan returns at a high level after missing all of last season with a knee injury. The Saints might also look to add a dynamic young deep threat in the draft."
I don’t like Joe Morgan’s injury history, and to be honest, Meachem is someone I would rather bring back. This year’s draft is rich with young receiver talent, and the Saints are well aware of that.
Katherine Terrell | NOLA.com | 2014 NFL salary cap projections continue to climb: reports
"The salary cap was originally projected at 126.3 million. That projection rose to $130 million last week. Several reports now have that number pegged even higher, with the cap possibly reaching a range between $132 million and $135 million, according to Pro Football Talk."
This type of news only means great things for the Saints, and there’s a real possibility of the Saints being able to lock up some players that originally weren’t thought to even be a possibility of a return. Loomis is a mastermind when it comes to working this all out, and I know he isn’t banking on the ‘reported’ figure. I’ll believe the cap number when I see it confirmed.
"The two sides are several millions of dollars apart in contract talks, according to Fox Sports. The Saints are willing to make Graham the highest paid tight end in the NFL, but Graham is looking for roughly $12 million per season, according to the report."
At least we finally get something concrete as to what type of figure Graham is after. I don’t exactly disagree with the figure, as Rob Gronkowski commands roughly $9M/year as it is. Graham’s long-term deal is going to make him the richest tight end in history. I believe the specifics could be the toughest part. The Saints may look to give Graham more of a ‘salary’ instead of guaranteed money. Perhaps Graham is wanting the guaranteed money to be higher. We’ll find out more as the clock keeps ticking.
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