May 29, 2014; Metairie, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton during organized team activities at the New Orleans Saints Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
First and foremost, I’d like to thank each of you that contributed to this week’s mailbag! I only look forward to more from Who Dat Nation, as the season draws closer.
What do you think the verdict will be for Jimmy Graham’s case? Tight end at $7 million, or wide receiver at $12 million? (Paula A. – Facebook)
This is as good as it gets. The CBA, or Collective Bargaining Agreement, is being tested. However, this ruling is going to change the face of the NFL if it goes in favor of Graham. Personally, I don’t believe there’s enough there to suggest that Graham will win, but then again, I’m not the arbitrator, and I’m not his agent.
Who will be our starting our starting wide receivers? (La Tanya K. – Facebook)
Barring injuries: Marques Colston, Kenny Stills, Brandin Cooks, Nick Toon, Robert Meachem, Joe Morgan. I think Toon has done plenty to restore our faith in him, but it needs to translate on the field this year. Morgan is the only true question mark, but I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt that he is completely healed. The Saints need him.
How big of a weapon will Brandin Cooks be in his rookie season, and is there any glaring issues keeping him from living up to his hype? (Mike K. – Facebook)
I think Cooks is going to make an immediate impact in the Saints offense. The players believe in him, and have publicly said it. I hear Drew Brees giving his endorsement, and that alone is enough for me. I think the only issue would be the height, but if you look at Desean Jackson, that really doesn’t seem to matter in today’s NFL. He seems to be a very bright student of the game, his focus and heart are there, so I don’t see why he can’t be the future of the New Orleans Saints with Nick Toon and Kenny Stills.
It may be a moot point, but an ankle and knee injury did hamper him at Oregon State in 2012. I’m sure that applies to anyone. He may play like Reggie Bush at times, and what I mean by that is that Cooks will go backwards to go forwards if necessary. However, I see that as risk/reward, and Cooks should be going forward 90-95% of the time.
What’s up with Jimmy? I have a good feeling about the new additions to the team, plus over the last few years, Super Bowl Run! What are the coaches and staff saying? Do they feel it like I do? (Marvin S. – Facebook)
I have a great feeling about this season too. I haven’t seen a Saints team this talented in quite some time. I believe it may be their most talented team ever.
No one should blame Jimmy Graham for what he’s trying to do. There’s a problem in the wording of the CBA, and Graham is using that against the NFL. Both the Saints and Graham will be fine. I firmly believe after this business is settled, Graham will get his long-term deal signed for well over $10 million per year.
While Drew Brees may say, ‘Why not the Saints?’ for the Super Bowl. Sean Payton takes a very coach-like approach to the season:
"“There’s five or six (players from 2009) on offense. It’s a transition of our game. I think that we feel like we have a good nucleus of players that have experience and the job for us now is to get the younger players ready to play, to get on the field and know what to do. I think that’s a challenge every year.”l -Sean Payton"
Deep down, I know the staff is excited about the season, and if you’re a member of Who Dat Nation, you should be too.
Any updates with the Jimmy Graham case? (@CMTVSPORTS – Twitter)
I wish I could say there was, but no. Everyone will stay quite around this. Here’s what I will tell you. In 2012, the Drew Brees hearing went to an arbitrator hearing June 27, 2012 . The ruling went in favor of Brees that Tuesday (July 3, 2012). I’d imagine by Monday or Tuesday, we’ll know Mr. Burbank’s ruling, and then go from there.
Will John Jenkins be ready for Training Camp? (@saintcool13 – Twitter)
Coach Payton was very tight-lipped around the injury. We’re not going to know the exact extent of the damage until training camp. What I can share with you about his injury is that it’s almost identical to what happened to Parys Haralson. Haralson went down against the Eagles with the same injury in the Wild Card game on January 6th, and had surgery for the torn pectoral muscle. He looked great for the Ben Grubbs Charity Softball Tournmanent last month. Payton also had to say this about the injury:
"Like most of these guys, we’ll visit with (Saints trainer Scottie Patton) typically two to three times a week and just keep paying attention to how he’s feeling and kind of play it by ear"
Based on the injury, I feel great about his chances of returning for training camp, and should be ready for the season opener.
Thanks again everyone! As always, you are encouraged to reach out to Twitter, Facebook, or e-mail us your Saints questions. As soon as they fill up, we’ll get them out!