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Which UDFAs received the biggest bonuses from the Saints?

A look at which undrafted players received the biggest signing bonuses and guarantees from the Saints, according to league sources:

S Mike Caputo — $3,000 signing bonus; $2,500 of base salary guaranteed
OL Joe Cheek — $5,000 signing bonus
DB Trae Elston — $5,000 signing bonus
CB De’Vante Harris — $4,000 signing bonus; $3,000 base guaranteed
LB Dillon Lee — $4,000 signing bonus; $6,000 base guaranteed
WR Tommylee Lewis — $5,000 signing bonus
DL D.J. Pettway — $5,000 signing bonus; $5,000 base guaranteed
LB Dominique Tovell — $4,500 signing bonus; $2,500 base guaranteed
G Landon Turner — $5,000 signing bonus; $9,500 base guaranteed

The details of all the signings are not yet known. This post will be updated with new information as it becomes available.

Sources: Saints agree to terms with 19 undrafted players

The Saints ended the draft without selecting a guard to compete with Tim Lelito and Senio Kelemete.

That issue was taken care of by signing rookie free agents after the draft.

The star of the class is North Carolina guard Landon Turner, who was widely projected to be a mid-round pick. He dropped out of the draft and was quickly scooped up by the Saints.

BYU’s Ryker Mathews, Boise State’s Marcus Henry and Michigan State’s Jack Allen also could figure into the mix at those positions.

Below is a list of agreements with players, according to multiple league sources. These agreements are  subject to change until the contracts are officially signed.

OL Ryker Mathews,  BYU
CB De’Vante Harris, Texas A&M
G Landon Turner, North Carolina
WR Jared Dangerfield, Western Kentucky
CB Ken Crawley, Colorado
OT Avery Young, Auburn
C Marcus Henry, Boise State
LB Dillon Lee, Alabama
DE Mitchell Loewen, Arkansas
WR Tommylee Lewis, Northern Illinois
G Joseph Cheek, Texas A&M
DL D.J. Pettway, Alabama
FS Trae Elston, Ole Miss
LB  Jeff Schoettmer, North Carolina
C Jack Allen, Michigan State
LB Dominique Tovell , UL-Lafayette
WR Jordan Williams, Ball State
FB Sione Houma, Michigan
S Mike Caputo, Wisconsin

 

Saints came out ahead in trade value in deal with Patriots

The Saints felt they got the better of the Patriots in the trade that allowed them to move back into the second round.

Not only was the team able to select safety Vonn Bell, a player it considered selecting in the third round, it also came out ahead on the trade value chart.

The Saints gave up the 78th and 112th picks to acquire the 61st pick from New England.  According to the chart, the Saints gave up 270 points of value to acquire 292 points.

It’s unclear which chart the Saints used. There are a few variations used around the league, but the one New Orleans’ was operating off of had it coming out ahead.

“Either one you are on, the other team right away recognizes the one you are working with,” coach Sean Payton said. “It is pretty basic. It is not exact. You can go back and there are years where someone might have moved up more for less.

“Taking your (third round pick) into (a second round pick) costs a (fourth round pick). That is pretty normal. I think a few picks prior there were teams receiving a couple (fourth round picks) for a move like that. Just as it moves back in the draft, it changes. That part of it was easy.”

Saints talked about Ole Miss tackle Laremy Tunsil at No. 12

Mississippi’s Laremy Tunsil poses for photos with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected by Miami Dolphins as the 13th pick in the first round of the 2016 NFL football draft, Thursday, April 28, 2016, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Mississippi’s Laremy Tunsil poses for photos with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected by Miami Dolphins as the 13th pick in the first round of the 2016 NFL football draft, Thursday, April 28, 2016, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Laremy Tunsil‘s surprising fall out of his projected top-5 pick and down to the Miami Dolphins at No. 13 sparked a discussion for the Saints.

New Orleans doesn’t need a tackle, but Tunsil has the kind of grade that made any team take notice.

“As (Tunsil) came down the board, obviously, that was an unusual or notable thing that happened in front of us,” Payton said. “He’s an extremely talented player, athletic. … You start projecting, OK, who’s going to guard, and I think we felt real confident with Sheldon.”

Tunsil fell after a video posted on his Twitter account showing the Ole Miss tackle using a gas mask bong.

“What happened with him tonight was unusual and disappointing, I’m sure,” Payton said. “It was a tough deal, just watching it.”

For the coaching staff of the Saints, it was an unprecedented part of the first round.

“Not like that, with social media, right in the middle of the first round,” Payton said. “Never.”

 

 

Leigh Steinberg on WWL radio: Saints have interest in Paxton Lynch

The Saints have some degree of interest in Paxton Lynch. That much is clear.

They’ve met with the Memphis quarterback at least twice during the pre-draft process, and worked him out another time.

Lynch’s agent, Leigh Steinberg, confirmed as much during an interview on WWL with Kristian Garic and T-Bob Herbert. Whether that leads to New Orleans selecting the quarterback remains to be seen.

“There is interest,” Steinberg said. “Whether or not they’ll pick him that high I’m not really sure.”

Steinberg doesn’t care if his client is picked early in the draft. What he’s more interested in is Lynch ending up in the right situation.

“The draft’s just a snapshot,” Steinberg said. “I’d much rather have Paxton Lynch go to a good team with a good coach than have him go three or four picks higher and end up like a David Carr or a JaMarcus Russell or any of those players who haven’t made it.”

Steinberg noted that several teams have expressed interest in Lynch. Some of them need a starter right away, while some others, such as New Orleans, could allow the rookie to learn behind the scenes and grow into the role.

Steinberg would be comfortable with either outcome.

“Some of them, if it’s New Orleans, San Diego, they have quarterbacks that are still very, very productive that you’d tuck in someone like Paxton to learn behind the really skilled vet for a while,” Steinberg said. “Then when your starter retires you go to straight to having another franchise, high-quality quarterback.”

Saints waive safety Vinnie Sunseri

New Orleans waived safety Vinnie Sunseri on Monday, bringing an end to his tenure with the Saints.

The safety landed on injured reserve with a broken arm after appearing in nine games as a rookie. He spent all of last season on the shelf with a knee injury suffered during the preseason.

His release means wide receiver Brandin Cooks is the last player remaining from the 2014 draft class, which also included cornerback Stanely Jean-Baptiste, linebackers Khairi Fortt and Ronald Powell and offensive tackle Tavon Rooks.

New Orleans also waived defensive lineman Tavaris Barnes on Monday.

Barnes was signed as an undrafted free agent out of Clemson following last year’s draft.

He made the team coming out of training camp and played in 13 games, finishing with five tackles.

The Saints also used undrafted rookie Bobby Richardson on the defensive line last season. Kaleb Eulls also appeared in four games as an undrafted player.

New Orleans is expected to be interested in adding defensive linemen during this week’s draft. Safety could also be a point of emphasis after losing Rafael Bush to the Detroit Lions earlier this offseason.

Source: Tavaris Barnes released by Saints

The Saints have released second-year defensive lineman Tavaris Barnes, according to a source.

Barnes was signed as an undrafted free agent out of Clemson following last year’s draft.

He made the team coming out of training camp and played in 13 games, finishing with five tackles.

The Saints also used undrafted rookie Bobby Richardson on the defensive line last season. Kaleb Eulls also appeared in four games as an undrafted player.

New Orleans is expected to be interested in adding defensive linemen during this week’s draft.

Report: Drew Brees was willing to ‘modify’ contract for Josh Norman

The financials were one of the more curious aspects of the Saints’ pursuit of Josh Norman.

It appeared impossible for New Orleans to sign the cornerback with only a little more than $3 million cap space. If Norman had agreed to sign with the Saints instead of Washington, the cash was going to have to come from somewhere.

It turns out that somewhere was Drew Brees.

According to ESPN, the quarterback was willing to “modify” his contract to help New Orleans sign Norman. And there are only two ways to modify a contract that come to mind: a reduction in pay or an extension.

Brees is entering the final year of his contract and has been negotiating with New Orleans on an extension.

Alas, despite a push from the Saints, Norman signed a five-year, $75 million extension with Washington.

Those talks will continue between Brees and the Saints. Whether or not Friday’s developments will make it easier for the two sides to agree to terms remains to be seen.

Source: Saints were interested in signing Josh Norman before he agreed to terms with Washington

FILE - In this Thursday, Nov. 26, 2015 file photo, Carolina Panthers' Josh Norman gestures in the end zone after breaking up a pass intended for Dallas Cowboys' Dez Bryant during the second half of an NFL football game in Arlington, Texas. Josh Norman, one of the NFL’s top cornerbacks, is now an unrestricted free agent after the Carolina Panthers surprisingly rescinded their non-exclusive franchise tag offer to the All-Pro, Wednesday, April 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade, File)

FILE – In this Thursday, Nov. 26, 2015 file photo, Carolina Panthers’ Josh Norman gestures in the end zone after breaking up a pass intended for Dallas Cowboys’ Dez Bryant during the second half of an NFL football game in Arlington, Texas. Josh Norman, one of the NFL’s top cornerbacks, is now an unrestricted free agent after the Carolina Panthers surprisingly rescinded their non-exclusive franchise tag offer to the All-Pro, Wednesday, April 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade, File)

The Saints tried to make an unexpected splash

Despite only having $3.45 million in cap space, New Orleans made a push to sign cornerback Josh Norman before he agreed to terms with the Washington Redskins, according to a source.

The former Carolina Panther had initially been given the franchise tag earlier this offseason, but the team pulled it back on Thursday, making him an unrestricted free agent.

Given the limited cap space, the Saints would have needed to get creative to fit him on the roster.  And it’s possible that the $75 million he will reportedly receive over five season priced him out of New Orleans.

Though the Saints could be interested in adding a cornerback during the draft, the look at Norman was likely more the result of trying to take advantage of an opportunity than a foreshadowing of things to come.

New Orleans currently has cornerbacks Delvin Breaux, Keenan Lewis, P.J. Williams, Damian Swann and Kyle Wilson at the top of the depth chart. Lewis (hip), Swann (concussions) and Williams (spent rookie season on injured reserve) are all working their way back from injury.

Breaux and Lewis are the expected starters. Lewis has said on social media that he is now healthy. He appeared to react to the news about Norman on Friday night with a post on Instagram.

“Never worried about competition, it always brought the best out of me,” Lewis wrote. “Injuries slowed me down, a healthy me will get me and my team a crown. Thanks for making the comeback even better. September can’t come fast enough.”

 

Source: Robert Meachem to work out for Saints on Friday

Robert Meachem isn’t done playing football.

The former Saints receiver is looking to make a comeback and is scheduled to work out for New Orleans on Friday, according to a source.

The 31-year-old was out of football last season. In 2014, he appeared in 11 games and caught seven passes for 114 yards.

A former 2007 first-round pick, Meachem spent the first four years of his career with the Saints before signing with the San Diego Chargers. He was released after one season and re-signed with the Saints in 2013.

The Saints could be in the market to add depth at the receiver position. The team has Brandin Cooks, Willie Snead and Brandon Coleman at the top of the depth chart, but lack a clear fourth option after releasing Marques Colston earlier this offseason.

The other options on the roster — Reggie Bell, R.J Harris, Kyle Prater and Shane Wynn — are all unproven players.

If the Saints do not add a veteran player, it would not be a surprise if they draft another receiver to add depth and compete with the other options guys on the roster for a higher spot on the depth chart.

WWL’s Leslie Spoon first reported this news.