Jun 11, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints safety Jarius Byrd (31) and safety Rafael Bush (25) and safety Kenny Vaccaro (32) during minicamp at the New Orleans Saints Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
I hope everyone had a great weekend! Before we bring you the daily news items, we’d like to let you know that our Saints Mail Bag is back open! We need YOU, Who Dat Nation! Hit us up on twitter, or e-mail us your Saints questions! I know you have some! No question is dumb, so please don’t think like that. We want to hear from our biggest supporters.
On to the news!
Ramon Antonio Vargas | The Advocate | Analysis: In minicamp, Saints were clicking on offense and defense
"Throughout minicamp, the Saints tried to minimize big plays and miscues because drills featured neither contact nor equipment beyond helmets. Perhaps the most-uttered phrase was, “Things will be different when pads come on” and contact is live during training camp and the preseason, let alone in Week 1 at Atlanta."
I implore you to read through the entire article. It’s a great sign hearing that the Saints are picking up right where they left off. It’s extremely interesting to hear that Derek Dimke and Shayne Graham are likely to enter a camp battle. I touched on Dimke’s path at the end of January, and firmly believe that he has a great chance to become the future kicker of the New Orleans Saints. The Saints have struggled with consistency at kicker for quite some time.
Mike Triplett | ESPN | Graham, Saints should strike deal now
"“I think he’s at the highest point of the tight end market, which is why I think he’s gonna break through and be the highest-paid tight end when his deal is done,” Dominik said. “But I do think the position is gonna be suppressed a little bit in terms of not being a Brandon Marshall or a Vincent Jackson, just in terms of what happened with Aqib Talib and a little bit of that."
This echoes everything logical that has been said about Graham. The bottom line? Pay Graham the extra $1-2 million. Vincent Jackson’s contract gives him an average annual salary of $11,111,111/year, Brandon Marshall’s average annual salary is $10 million. It’s a no-brainer to establish Graham as the highest paid tight end, which would be $10 million annually. I’ve said that the long-term part of this deal is the interesting part. How much is Graham going to receive in guaranteed money? That might be the disconnect. His hearing is right around the corner.
Mike Triplett | ESPN | Still a Saint: Thomas glad he was wrong
"“I didn’t want to go and learn a new system. I was comfortable where I was at. The fans here have been nice to me. But you’ve always gotta think that it’s a business. So no matter what, if I would’ve went somewhere else, I would’ve showed them what I was about, I would’ve showed everybody who I am, who is Pierre Thomas, if that would’ve came to that situation. But it didn’t. I’m here with the Who Dat nation and with the Saints organization, and I’m happy.”"
It was easily an emotional rollercoaster for Pierre Thomas this offseason. There were tons of rumors out there, and none of it came true. Thomas will see mostly third downs this year, and was already doing a lot of the ‘Darren Sproles’ work last season. Thomas’ three-year contract locks him up through 2016, and we can only hope that he retires as a Saint.
Other articles to check out:
- New Orleans Saints Spotlight | Get to know wide receiver Charles Hawkins
- New Orleans Saints Spotlight | Get to know tight end Josh Hill
- New Orleans Saints Spotlight | Get to know quarterback Logan Kilgore
- Saints mailbag: Any weaknesses?