All posts by Ramon Antonio Vargas

Ramon Antonio Vargas has covered the Saints for The Advocate since 2013. He can be reached at rvargas@theadvocate.com and is @RVargasAdvocate on Twitter.

Drew Brees headed to the 2015 Pro Bowl

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) throws a pass during a 2014 Pro Bowl practice. (AP Photo/Eugene Tanner)

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) throws a pass during a 2014 Pro Bowl practice. (AP Photo/Eugene Tanner)

Saints quarterback Drew Brees on Friday secured the most Pro Bowl invitations in franchise history.

Brees will replace Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Roethlisberger — who is dropping out of the NFL’s all-star game for an undisclosed reason — and Brees tied for the NFL lead in passing yards (4,952) in 2014, when the Saints finished 7-9 and missed the playoffs.

This will be Brees’ ninth career Pro
Bowl and eighth with the Saints since he joined them in 2006.

Brees (456-of-659 for 33 touchdowns this season) did not make the first cut after several of the 17 interceptions he has thrown this year factored largely in the nine defeats New Orleans has suffered in this campaign.

However, despite that, it seemed a matter of time before Brees captured the franchise record for Pro Bowl berths, whether as an alternate or on future merits.

The MVP of the Saints’ sole Super Bowl victory and the owner of all the team’s major passing records had been to the NFL’s all-star game in each of the past six seasons. And Brees fell just short of his fourth-straight (and fifth overall) campaign passing for 5,000 or more yards. Brees remains the only player in NFL history to have more than one such season.

Initially, Saints guard Jahri Evans and tight end Jimmy Graham were invited to the Pro Bowl in December. Evans dropped out after surgery to correct a minor injury, but Graham is still in.

Before becoming Bears GM, Ryan Pace says he experienced more than many in NFL do while with Saints

Ryan Pace in Chicago after being hired as the Bears' general manager on Thursday, January 8, 2015. (Matt Koch / ChicagoBears.com)

Ryan Pace in Chicago after being hired as the Bears’ general manager on Thursday, January 8, 2015. (Matt Koch / ChicagoBears.com)

As the Saints’ chief scout, Ryan Pace had it good in New Orleans.

His department enjoyed a tight relationship with the coaching staff. Coach Sean Payton and General Manager Mickey Loomis never disagreed on critical matters.

But, when it became clear that the Chicago Bears were interested in hiring him to fill their GM role, Pace found a spot where he might have it even better.

The 37-year-old had met his wife — Stephanie, the mother of his daughter, Cardyn –while he played defensive end at Eastern Illinois University, about three hours away from Chicago.

His father- and brother-in-law are Bears fans. It was a chance to close a circle he began drawing when he left Illinois in a beat-up car in 2001 to accept an entry-level gig in New Orleans with the Saints — only this time he’d return to the Prairie State on an airplane to assume charge of football operations for one of the NFL’s charter franchises, which he could tell was willing to do anything it took to get back to some winning ways after going 5-11 and missing the playoffs in 2014.

Pace spoke at length with Loomis and Payton — an Eastern Illinois alum himself — and decided the time was ripe to make a move.

“You only get one first shot at this, (and) this is a dream for me,” Pace told reporters in Chicago on Friday, one day after the Bears had hired him over three other candidates to become the league’s youngest general manager. “The historic franchise, the city of Chicago, coming back to Illinois, … everything just felt right. I trust my instincts and my gut, and that’s why I’m here.”

Pace discussed his reasons for leaving the Saints after 14 years of employment at an introductory news conference at Halas Hall, the Bears’ administrative headquarters. But he touched on more — notably, what he felt his most important experiences were as he worked his way up from assisting in the coordination of Saints operations at training camp and during games to overseeing New Orleans’ college- and pro-level scouting.

The remarks may be illuminating for some, as the Saints rarely made Pace available to the media in New Orleans.

Pace said nothing was more valuable to him than watching Loomis hire Payton in 2006. The Saints had registered a 3-13 season in 2005, when they played their entire schedule outside of New Orleans, which had been devastated by Hurricane Katrina that August.

Many doubted New Orleans could support the Saints after the failure of federal levees produced catastrophic flooding, and many feared the team would relocate permanently.

But then Loomis hired Payton. The Saints subsequently acquired quarterback Drew Brees. Months later, the organization reached its first NFC title game — ironically, it was a defeat at Soldier Field in Chicago.

The Saints then won their lone Super Bowl championship on Feb. 7, 2010. That remains New Orleans’ sole major sports championship.

“It started when Mickey Loomis hired Sean Payton — so, hiring the right head coach,” said Pace, who replaces the dismissed Phil Emery in Chicago and is now responsible for bringing in someone to coach the Bears after the recent firing of Marc Trestman. “We developed an organizational philosophy right then and there on the players we wanted to acquire, and the whole building was on the same page. Everything was focused on winning games; everybody dropped their egos; and the rest is history.”

Yet Pace made it sound like he gained as much out of the 2012 bounty scandal that led to suspensions for Payton (season-long) and Loomis (eight). New Orleans — like it did in 2014 — went 7-9 and missed the playoffs.

The Saints recovered in 2013 to win 12 of 18 games and qualify for the divisional playoffs. One of their victories was the first road playoff win in franchise history.

“I truly believe in adverse situations … you find out a lot about the people that are in the building and on the team,” Pace said.

Unsurprisingly, Bears President Ted Phillips expressed optimism about Pace’s arrival. “He has the intelligence, the passion, the integrity, high character and toughness to be a strong leader and to make an immediate and lasting impact,” Phillips said Friday.

Yet Pace’s youth surfaced as a topic more than once Friday, even after the Seahawks hired GM John Schneider at a similar age in 2010. Three seasons later, Seattle won its only Super Bowl title.

Pace acknowledged he was young, but he urged reporters to understand one thing.

“I’ve seen a lot in (these) years — I think a lot more than a lot of people have with a lot of teams,” Pace said. “I don’t look at my age. I look at my experience in New Orleans.”

Thomas Morstead donating music instruments to marching band from a school in New Orleans’ Central City

Advocate photo by John McCusker -- Thomas Morstead visits with son, Max, on the sidelines before a 2014 preseason game.

Advocate photo by John McCusker — Thomas Morstead visits with son, Max, on the sidelines before a 2014 preseason game.

It may be the offseason for Thomas Morstead’s job as the Saints punter, but he isn’t taking a break from his charity work.

Morstead on Friday is set to donate 24 new instruments to the marching band at James M. Singleton Charter School in Central City, one of New Orleans’ most impoverished and violent neighborhoods.

Singleton — which opened in 1999 — has made it a priority to expose its students to various musical styles and cultures, and its band counts on 55 students as members. It’d be larger if it had more instruments, but it doesn’t.

That’ll change Friday thanks to a collaboration between Morstead’s What You Give Will Grow charity — which focuses on helping children and cancer patients — and the Tipitina’s Foundation’s “Instruments A Comin'” program. Morstead and Tipitina’s Foundation Executive Director Bethany Paulsen late Friday morning will present Singleton’s students with two dozen new instruments as well as funds for music books to permit the band to grow in numbers, they said in a press release.

“When we announced the start of the foundation, we were focused on being limitless in who we would reaching, and helping to provide access to the arts is important in New Orleans’ rich culture of music,” Morstead, who launched What You Give Will Grow in 2012, said in a statement.

Paulsen added in a statement, “The value of music education is irrefutable. Providing band directors with the resources — the instruments — that they need is vital to making sure that all of the students in our community have access to music education and that the music that is so important to our culture continues to thrive.”

Singleton’s marching band has been performing since the fall of 2010. It is directed by James Rayford and can be seen at Carnival parades.

Morstead, meanwhile, earned distinction as the Saints’ “Man of the Year” for both his charity work as well his on-field performance — he was part of the reason why New Orleans held opponents to the fewest punt-return yards in the NFL (99), and he registered the second-highest average of net yards per punt (42.9) in the league.

Morstead’s Saints honor entered him into consideration for the 2015 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award. The winner of the Payton award will be announced during the fourth annual NFL Honors show on Jan. 31, the night before Super XLIX in Glendale, Arizona.

Ex-Saints kicker Morten Andersen chosen as Pro Football Hall of Fame finalist for 2nd consecutive year

Saints kicker Morten Andersen (7) follows through on game-winning, 49-yard field goal against Cowboys back when he played for the Saints.  (John H. Williams photo/State-Times)

Saints kicker Morten Andersen (7) follows through on game-winning, 49-yard field goal against Cowboys back when he played for the Saints.
(John H. Williams photo/State-Times)

Ex-Saints kicker Morten Andersen became a Pro Football Hall of Fame finalist for a second year in a row on Thursday night, but former LSU offensive lineman Kevin Mawae did not make the cut.

Andersen emerged as one of 15 finalists for the Class of 2015. Other finalists are former wide receiver Marvin Harrison, coach Jimmy Johnson, safety John Lynch, tackle Orlando Pace, executive Bill Polian, linebacker Junior Seau, guard Will Shields, running back Jerome Bettis, wide receiver Tim Brown, coach Don Coryell, running back Terrell Davis, coach Tony Dungy, linebacker/defensive end Kevin Greene and defensive end/linebacker Charles Haley.

“I’m honored and once again reminded of all the legendary players who are represented in Canton,” the community in Ohio where the Hall of Fame is located, Andersen wrote in a text message Thursday. “It certainly is a humbling feeling to be considered for induction.”

A native of Copenhagen, Denmark, Andersen joined the NFL with the Saints in 1982 and played in the league until 2007. He spent 13 seasons in New Orleans, made seven career Pro Bowls and retired as the NFL’s career leader in points (2,544) and games played (382).

Andersen was a Hall of Fame semifinalist in 2013; and he was a finalist in 2014, when New Orleans native/ex-Southern University standout/star defensive back Aeneas Williams was picked for induction.

As for Mawae, he grew up in Leesville before becoming a three-time All-Southeastern Conference selection at LSU. He played from 1994-2009 with the Seattle Seahawks, New York Jets and Tennessee Titans and was an eight-time Pro Bowl pick. He was among 26 semifinalists named in November.

Voters will select the Hall of Fame’s Class of 2015 on Jan. 31, the day before Super Bowl XLIX in Glendale, Arizona.

Bears hire Saints executive Ryan Pace to be their new general manager

ryan-pace

It was less than a year ago that Ryan Pace, the Saints’ director of player personnel, said it’d take the perfect opportunity for him to leave New Orleans, where in his estimation the scouting department and coaching staff shared an unusually close relationship.

Pace found that opportunity. The Chicago Bears announced Thursday that they’d hired him to become their general manager. Pace, 37, interviewed for that job by Wednesday night and beat out three other candidates — Kansas City’s Chris Ballard, Tennessee’s Lake Dawson and Houston’s Brian Gaine — to become the NFL’s youngest GM of the moment.

The Bears fired ex-GM Phil Emery as well as head coach Marc Trestman after a 5-11 finish in 2014 left them well out of the playoffs. Chicago wanted to hire its new GM before searching for a coach.

Pace was in his 13th year of employment with the Saints, and it was his second as the player personnel director in charge of pro and college scouting. Coincidentally, he played football as a defensive end from 1995 to 1999 at Eastern Illinois, which is Saints coach Sean Payton’s alma mater and is about three hours from Chicago.

Pace worked his way up to his new position from humble beginnings — his first role with the Saints was to help coordinate operations on game day, during training camp and at what’s now known as the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans’ home venue.

Payton credited Pace frequently in news conferences whenever veteran free agents arrive and made a positive impact, and General Manager Mickey Loomis had said it was inevitable other NFL teams would attempt to poach him given his value to the Saints.

At a briefing with media on Tuesday, Loomis said the Saints would not stand in Pace’s way if he went on any interviews.

“He’s ready for a general manager’s job,” Loomis said of Pace. “He’s talented. I would expect to lose him at some point.”

Without referring to any specific position in the NFL, while giving a media interview at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, in January 2014, Pace indicated not just any job would tempt him to leave the Saints. The reason he cited was that New Orleans’ coaching staff valued its scouts’ input in a way not every organization would.

“The grass is not always greener,” Pace — of Flower Mound, Texas — said at the time.

The Dolphins last year tried to interview Pace for a general manager job but weren’t granted permission to. Pace’s contract is reportedly due to expire this year, so the Saints couldn’t block any interviews he’d want to happen.

Pace did have the option of choosing not to sit down with any teams seeking to interview him, but he exercised his right to look for any external promotion that lured him.

The Saints on Thursday did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Pace’s departure. They’ll presumably be evaluating candidates — possibly both external and internal — to replace Pace immediately.

A person just below Pace in the Saints’ scouting department was Terry Fontenot, the club’s director of pro personnel. The Saints in 2012 sent Fontenot to the Stanford Business School’s NFL executive education program. The native of Lake Charles has been with the Saints since 2003.

Another person on Fontenot’s level with the Saints is college scouting director Rick Reiprish, who’s been with the organization since 2004. Reiprish, of Shamokin, Pennsylvania, has been named a player personnel director before: by the Jaguars in 1998, four years after he had been hired as Jacksonville’s top college scout.

Chicago has made hiring people away from the Saints a bit of a habit recently. The Bears brought on former Saints offensive line coach Aaron Kromer to serve as their offensive coordinator in 2013. Kromer was fired after this season.

UPDATE, Thursday, January 8, 2015 at 4:30 p.m.: Loomis wished Pace and his wife, Stephanie, congratulations in a statement Thursday that did not discuss any possible successors for the Saints’ departed chief scout.

Loomis’ statement read:

We wish to congratulate the Chicago Bears on the hiring of Ryan Pace as their General Manager. He has been an outstanding member of the New Orleans Saints organization for the past 15 years.

He has progressed successfully from scouting assistant to pro scout to Director of Pro Scouting and finally to Director of Player Personnel, overseeing both college and pro personnel. He has been a key contributor in developing our roster throughout the past years.

We will miss Ryan and his wife Stephanie however we are excited that they will be with an organization like the Chicago Bears, of which we have the highest regard.

Jahri Evans will be ‘100 percent shortly’ following surgery, agent says

Because he had surgery on an injury, Saints right guard Jahri Evans won’t be able to play in the Pro Bowl in Glendale, Arizona, on Jan. 25.

Advocate file photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Saints G Jahri Evans

Advocate file photo by PATRICK DENNIS — Saints G Jahri Evans

But the guard “will be 100 percent shortly, and it should not affect him in the future,” said Jerrold Colton, Evans’ agent.

Colton wouldn’t confirm or deny whether Evans’ surgery addressed back, hamstring or groin problems that sidelined him for two games in 2013, his lone pair of absences both in the NFL and for the Saints. But Colton said Evans played through the injury in 2014, when the Saints finished 7-9 and fell short of the postseason.

Colton also said Evans would be able to fully participate in the Saints’ offseason conditioning program in the spring.

ESPN’s Mike Triplett first reported that Colton had revealed Evans had surgery on an injury, the nature of which he didn’t disclose.

Evans was the only Saints player aside from tight end Jimmy Graham initially chosen for the NFL’s upcoming all-star game. It was Evans’ sixth-straight Pro Bowl invitation; but, due to his health, he will be replaced by Philadelphia guard Evan Mathis, the Eagles announced Wednesday morning.

Evans, coincidentally, is from Philadelphia.

A fourth-round draft choice out of small school Bloomsburg University for the Saints in 2006, the year New Orleans hired coach Sean Payton, Evans has been invited to the second-most Pro Bowls among offensive lineman in franchise history. Ex-Saints tackle Willie Roaf is the sole offensive lineman who was invited to more Pro Bowls than Evans has been.

Evans, 31, has started 142 out of a possible 144 regular-season games for the Saints as well as 10 playoff contests, including New Orleans’ victory in Super Bowl XLIV on Feb. 7, 2010. Two other postseason starts for Evans were in 2013, when he worked through his injuries to help the Saints reach the divisional round of the playoffs.

Evans cracked the Associated Press’ All-Pro First Team each year from 2009-12. Last year, he earned Second Team All-Pro merits.

The veteran guard received a pair of votes to be an All-Pro this season but did not make either the first or second teams for the first time since 2008.

Injury will sideline Jahri Evans from the Pro Bowl

An injury will prevent Saints right guard Jahri Evans from participating in the Pro Bowl in Glendale, Arizona, on Jan. 25.

Advocate file photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Saints G Jahri Evans

Advocate file photo by PATRICK DENNIS — Saints G Jahri Evans

Evans was the only Saints player aside from tight end Jimmy Graham initially chosen for the NFL’s all-star game after New Orleans went 7-9 in 2014 and missed the postseason. It was Evans’ sixth-straight Pro Bowl invitation, but an undisclosed injury will sideline him from the game, and he will be replaced by Philadelphia guard Evan Mathis, the Eagles announced Wednesday morning.

Evans’ agent, Jerrold Colton, on Wednesday told ESPN his client underwent surgery to resolve the injury. Colton only described him as minor.

Evans, coincidentally, is from Philadelphia.

A fourth-round draft choice for the Saints in 2006, the year New Orleans hired coach Sean Payton, Evans has been invited to the second-most Pro Bowls among offensive lineman in franchise history. He has started 142 out of a possible 144 regular-season games for the Saints as well as 10 playoff contests, including New Orleans’ victory in Super Bowl XLIV on Feb. 7, 2010.

The lone two Saints games Evans has missed were in 2013, when he dealt with back, hamstring and groin injuries but still formed part of a team that reached the divisional round of the playoffs.

Evans’ and Graham’s 2015 Pro Bowl invitations were announced on Dec. 23.

Chief Saints scout Ryan Pace is ready for a GM job, but team remains coy about what his plans are

ryan-pace

If Saints Director of Player Personnel Ryan Pace wants to leave for a more prominent job elsewhere in the NFL, New Orleans won’t get in his way, General Manager Mickey Loomis told media Tuesday.

“He’s ready for a general manager’s job,” Loomis said.

The Saints know what Pace intends to do, but Loomis wouldn’t say. And he didn’t confirm or deny a recent NFL Network report that it was unlikely Pace would accept any interviews to leave his position with the Saints for a general manager vacancy at other NFL franchises.

“I think that’s a better question for him than for me,” said Loomis, who only remarked that other clubs in the league had inquired about Pace. “I’ll leave it up to him.”

When a reporter asked Loomis if Pace could be made available for comment, the Saints GM laughed, said, “Good question,” and moved on.

The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport not long ago reported the Chicago Bears and New York Jets had requested permission to speak with Pace about GM openings. But Rapoport followed up Monday morning by saying that Pace is most likely not going anywhere as he gets promoted within the Saints’ organization and Loomis handles more duties with the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans.

New Orleans billionaire Tom Benson owns both the Pelicans and the Saints, who were 7-9 and missed the playoffs this year. In fact, Rapoport reported, Pace shouldered more day-to-day Saints responsibilities in 2014 as Loomis did more than usual with the Pelicans.

Loomis seemed to sort of dispute that notion, explaining Pace had already been promoted during the 2013 NFL year and that his own role within the Pelicans has been “a little overblown.”

“The Saints have my full attention,” Loomis said. “They always have. And if I felt like my role with the Pelicans interfered with that, then I’d step away from the Pelicans.”

Pace is in his 13th year of employment with the Saints, and it’s his second as the player personnel director in charge of pro and college scouting. Coincidentally, he played football as a defensive end from 1995 to 1999 at Eastern Illinois, which is Saints coach Sean Payton’s alma mater.

Payton credits Pace frequently in news conferences whenever veteran free agents arrive and make a positive impact, and Loomis has said it’s inevitable other NFL teams would attempt to poach him given his value to the Saints.

Loomis reiterated that attitude on Tuesday.

“He’s talented,” said Loomis, who trotted out an oft-repeated phrase that it’s a good thing when teams are interested in one’s own front-office personnel. “I would expect to lose him at some point.”

Without referring to any specific position in the NFL, while giving a media interview at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, in January 2014, Pace indicated not just any job would tempt him to leave the Saints. He cited the close relationship between the Saints’ scouting department and coaching staff as the primary reason for that, and he said such a situation doesn’t exist just anywhere in the league.

The Dolphins last year tried to interview Pace for a general manager job but weren’t granted permission to. Pace’s contract is reportedly due to expire this year, so the Saints couldn’t block any interviews he’d want to happen.

Pace does have the option of choosing not to sit down with any teams seeking to interview him.

After domestic violence arrest, Junior Galette’s first court appearance tentatively set for Feb. 26

Following his domestic violence arrest in Kenner on Monday, Saints pass rusher Junior Galette is tentatively scheduled to make his first appearance related to the matter at 12:45 p.m. on Feb. 26 in the Jefferson Parish municipality’s Mayor’s Court, the city said Tuesday.

Junior Galette's mug shot

Junior Galette’s mug shot

Officers responded to a disturbance at Galette’s home in the 4400 block of Rue De La Harbor in the Place Pontchartrain subdivision at 8:52 a.m. on Monday, Kenner Police Lt. Brian McGregor has said. Officers said they met with a 22-year-old woman who said that Galette, 26, and his cousin, 27-year-old Terrance Banks, had “jumped” her.

The woman claimed to have been in a relationship with Galette and portrayed herself as a personal assistant of sorts, police said. Police said that Galette claimed she was a dancer who stayed at his house from Sunday night to Monday morning.

Police said the woman accused Galette and Banks of attacking her after they refused to give her cab money but had instructed her to leave the home. Police added that the woman had visible injuries and was bleeding after she called officers to Galette’s home.

Galette was booked with simple battery related to domestic abuse. Banks, a former college football teammate of Galette’s, was booked with simple battery. The violations Galette and Banks are accused of are misdemeanors.

In his fifth year with the Saints, Galette led New Orleans’ defense in quarterback sacks in 2014 with 10. He had 12 sacks in 2013 as New Orleans got to the divisional round of the playoffs, and he became the first Saints player in a decade to reach double digits in that statistical category in consecutive seasons. Despite that, the Saints this season gave up the second-most yards in the NFL, finished 7-9 and missed the playoffs.

Junior Galette has been released from the Kenner jail following domestic violence arrest

Saints pass rusher Junior Galette has been released from jail following his arrest in connection to an altercation at his home in Kenner, according to police.

Junior Galette's mug shot

Junior Galette’s mug shot

Officers were holding Galette, 26, on one count of misdemeanor simple battery related to domestic violence, and his bail had been set at $600. He managed to avoid news media who were waiting for him to exit Kenner’s jail via its main entrance and see if he wanted to make any statements, apparently using a side way out about 4 p.m. Monday.

Lionel “Lon” Burns, a defense lawyer who advised Galette on Monday at the request of the player’s friends and family, said Galette’s focus was now “working to clear his good name, which he has established on and off the football field.”

A second man arrested in the incident, 27-year-old Terrance Banks, walked out of Kenner’s jail about 5 p.m. Monday. He declined to be interviewed as he climbed into a car being driven by another man.

Officers responded to a disturbance at Galette’s home in the 4400 block of Rue De La Harbor at 8:52 a.m. Monday, Kenner Police Lt. Brian McGregor said. Officers met with a 22-year-old woman who told the officers that Galette and his cousin — Banks — “jumped” her.

Police said the woman claimed to have been in a relationship with Galette in the past and previously lived with him at a home in New Orleans. Though they were no longer together in a relationship, she still “stayed” with, cooked for and cleaned for Galette, and she did whatever he needed her to do, she said, McGregor remarked.

Galette — who bought a home outside of New Orleans in the Jefferson Parish municipality of Kenner in September — claimed she was a dancer who went to his house on Sunday night and stayed until Monday morning with him and Banks, police said.

In the morning, the woman said, she woke Galette up and asked for cab money. Galette instructed her to instead ask Banks, of Newark, New Jersey, who was a teammate of Galette’s and a defensive tackle on Temple University’s football team before Galette made the Saints as an undrafted rookie out of small school Stillman College in 2010.

The woman said Galette and Banks then refused to give her any money and told her to leave the house. An argument broke out, and Galette is accused of pushing the woman twice trying to get her out.

The woman said she fell. Both Galette and Banks got on her, she couldn’t breathe and she couldn’t fight them off, she said, according to police.

Then Banks picked her up and put her out the house, she said. She said she started dialing 911, but Banks took her phone and wouldn’t return it.

The woman said she grabbed a knife because she feared she’d be “jumped” again. Galette then began recording the incident with a phone, she said, according to police.

Police on Monday were working to obtain that recording Galette supposedly made.

The woman subsequently put the knife down, and Banks picked her up and took her outside, she said.

She then used her phone — which she had gotten back at that point — to call 911. She had scratches on the right side of her face, and her right earring had been pulled out from her ear, which was bloody, police said. She opted to seek medical treatment on her own instead of from first responders, police said.

When police informed Galette they were arresting him, he called at least one officer an insulting name, McGregor said. He also mentioned to an officer arresting him that being booked with domestic violence could negatively impact his contract with the Saints, but he otherwise cooperated, McGregor said after the news conference.

Under a personal conduct policy the NFL adopted in December, it’s possible Galette could be suspended six games in 2015, though Monday was a very early stage in the matter.

In his fifth year with the Saints, Galette led New Orleans’ defense in quarterback sacks (10). He had 12 sacks last year as New Orleans got to the divisional round of the playoffs and became the first Saints player in a decade to register double digits in that category in consecutive seasons. Despite that, this season, the Saints gave up the second-most yards in the NFL, finished 7-9 and missed the playoffs.

The Saints in early September gave Galette a four-year, $41.5 million deal that would extend his contract through 2019.