Category Archives: Uncategorized

Waived by Saints, Derek Dimke tells hometown TV station he’s working out for Jaguars on Friday

After being waived by the Saints on Saturday, placekicker Derek Dimke is working out with the Jacksonville Jaguars on Friday, he reportedly told a television station in his hometown of Rockford, Illinois.

Derek Dimke (University of Illinois photo)

Derek Dimke (University of Illinois photo)

“#DerekDimke tells me he has a workout scheduled with the Jaguars on Friday,” WTVO reporter Scott Leber wrote on his Twitter account. “My interview with him tonight on Eyewtiness News.”

Jacksonville kicker Josh Scobee has been dealing with a quad injury, and it may be the team is preparing for the possibility that he may not be ready for Week 1.

Dimke has made 12 of 13 field goals in preseasons from 2012-14 spent with Detroit, Tampa Bay and New Orleans. He was 4-for-4 with the Saints while competing with incumbent veteran Shayne Graham as New Orleans went 3-1 in the preseason.

Dimke had missed a 54-yard try in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, but it was wiped out with a running-into-the-kicker penalty. The ball was moved in five yards closer, and Dimke connected, preserving his perfect mark on the preseason.

Graham was also 4-for-4 in the exhibitions but missed an experimental 33-yard extra point in the 2014 preseason opener at St. Louis. He’s made 85.5 percent of the field goals he’s kicked since making his first NFL regular-season roster in 2001.

Nonetheless, both Dimke and Graham were left off the first 53-man roster the Saints turned in to the NFL on Saturday. Dimke subsequently cleared waivers and was free to seek other opportunities.

Meanwhile, because of the experience he accumulated, Graham was a free agent the moment he was released, and he was unsigned heading into Tuesday afternoon.

Junior Galette dismisses report of contract extension as ‘rumors’; Saints kicker news could be soon

After a Yahoo! Sports reporter tweeted on Tuesday that Saints outside linebacker Junior Galette had agreed in principle to a contract extension and cited anonymous NFL sources, the player responded with his own Twitter missive reading, “These Rumors Have To Stop…..”

New Orleans Saints outside linebacker Junior Galette (93) emerges from the smoke for the start of a NFL football game between the New Orleans Saints and the Buffalo Bills in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, La. Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013. (Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON)

New Orleans Saints outside linebacker Junior Galette (93) emerges from the smoke for the start of a NFL football game between the New Orleans Saints and the Buffalo Bills in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, La. Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013. (Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON)

Galette had the sixth-most quarterback sacks (12) in the league during the 2013 regular season. It was a career high and would’ve led the Saints had it not been for teammate and defensive end Cameron Jordan, who had 12.5 sacks and subsequently went to the Pro Bowl.

Loomis: News on kicker coming soon

After attending the unveiling of a statue honoring Saints owner Tom Benson outside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, General Manager Mickey Loomis told reporters the team would have news about a placekicker soon.

“We will have some news for you by the end of the day,” Loomis said when approached for comment. “How’s that?”

The Saints on Saturday released veteran incumbent Shayne Graham and waived challenger Derek Dimke, both of whom spent training camp with the team. Therefore, there was no placekicker on the first 53-man roster the Saints devised for the 2014 regular season.

Tuesday at 3 p.m. is the earliest the Saints can place a player on short-term injured reserve. Doing so would keep a player out of action for the first six weeks of 2014, but it would also create a roster spot the Saints could fill with a kicker.

Fullback Erik Lorig (leg), wide receiver Kenny Stills (quad) and rookie linebacker Khairi Fortt (leg) are all candidates for short-term IR. Stills and Fortt have been seen around the practice field since they were hurt; but Lorig has not been seen since he left an Aug. 2 intrasquad scrimmage in West Virginia early.

Morgan hosting bowling benefit

Saints receiver Joseph Morgan and Winn-Dixie are hosting a celebrity bowling competition on Sept. 16 to raise funds for and benefit ELEVATE New Orleans Inc., which provides developmental programs for underprivileged youth.

Aside from Morgan, Saints tackle Terron Armstead, cornerback Keenan Lewis, other teammates and team game day announcer Mark Romig are scheduled to appear. Local singer Kevin Stylez is supposed to perform, and others who are supposed to be in attendance are “American Idol” finalist Burnell Taylor, recording artists Dee-1 and Big Freedia, New Orleans Coundilman Jason Williams and well-known attorney Chip Forstall.

“We strive to be just as proactive in the community as we are on the field,” Morgan said of the event, dubbed “GridIron Bowl.” “GridIron is going to be a great time, but more importantly, it’s going to positively impact community members in need.”

The event should occur from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at Rock N’ Bowl on 3000 South Carrollton Avenue. Tickets can be purchased now at team-ascension.com/event/the-gridiron-bowl/

General Admission is $66.85 and includes “all you can eat” food and drink, access to live entertainment and the celebrity bowling competition.

“VIP Bowler” tickets are $179, and that entails all you can eat food and drink, two hours of bowling with a celebrity guest, an autographed item and access to live entertainment.

Saints name team captains

The New Orleans Saints have named their captains for the upcoming season.

Saints defensive end Cam Jordan tweeted Monday night that linebackers Junior Galette, Ramon Humber, and Curtis Lofton, offensive tackle Zach Strief, quarterback Drew Brees, and punter Thomas Morstead have been named team captains.

Brees, Strief, Malcolm Jenkins, Lofton, and Will Herring were the captains in 2013.

Derrius Brooks joins Tampa Bay’s practice squad after spending training camp with Saints

After spending the offseason and training camp with the Saints but being left off the 53-man roster, cornerback Derrius Brooks has signed a deal to join Tampa Bay’s practice squad.

Brooks published a photo of the Buccaneers’ logo on his Twitter on Monday and wrote, “New Home…Same goal.” A league source soon confirmed Brooks was headed to that team’s practice squad.

Brooks had eight tackles (three solo) and a pass defense for the Saints this preseason. He also had a tackle on special teams, spending most of his time with the backup units.

The 5-foot-10, 191-pounder signed with Cincinnati as an undrafted free agent out of Western Kentucky in 2012 but didn’t make the team. He subsequently played with the Canadian Football League’s Calgary Stampeders, and he made 35 tackles and picked off three passes for that team in 2013.

Brooks then went to the Saints on a futures/reserve contract late in the last NFL campaign.

“Basically, I came here, and I learned a lot of stuff,” Brooks said the day before he was waived about going through training camp with a Saints defense that was No. 2 against the pass in 2013. “Hoping I get an opportunity with this team; if not, hopefully another team will give me a call.

“I figured … I did what I had to do (and) got good film out there.”

Practice squad players are not on teams’ 53-man rosters but get paid to train as if they are and can be promoted to the full team. They can also be signed to the 53-man rosters of other teams.

Reddick headed to St. Louis, Marcel Jones to Baltimore

After spending his rookie year with the Saints in 2013, undrafted linebacker Kevin Reddick signed with St. Louis’ practice squad. The Saints waived Reddick when they reduced their roster from 90 players to 75 players on Aug. 26.

Meanwhile, guard/tackle Marcel Jones — a seventh-round draft choice out of Nebraska for the Saints in 2012 — signed with Baltimore’s practice squad after being waived Saturday. He missed his rookie year hurt and was on the Saints’ practice squad in 2013.

Saints finalize 10-man practice squad

The Saints announced the names of the members of their 10-man practice squad Monday morning. Seven of the names had already been reported, but the three remaining ones all awaited were safety Pierre Warren, tight end Nic Jacobs and guard Antoine McClain.

Those The Advocate had reported ahead of the official announcement were wide receiver Brandon Coleman, cornerback Trevin Wade, cornerback Terrence Frederick, wide receiver Seantavius Jones, tackle Tavon Rooks, linebacker Todd Davis and nose tackle Lawrence Virgil.

Warren’s finest moment of several this preseason was an interception in the final of four preseason exhibitions. He is an undrafted rookie out of Jacksonville State in Alabama.

Jacobs (who played in college at LSU and McNeese State) showed good hands — especially on throws in traffic — as well as promise as a blocker. However, the 6-foot-5, 269-pound undrafted rookie caught only one pass for 15 yards in the exhibitions.

McClain was the only player signed onto the Saints’ practice squad who did not spend training camp or the offseason with the team. He first joined the Baltimore Ravens as an undrafted rookie out of Clemson in 2012.

Though he did not play in a regular season game, he was on the Oakland Raiders’ active roster for the first six weeks of 2013 before being acquired on waivers by Buffalo. In Buffalo, McClain was a backup lineman for the team’s last 11 contests.

Practice squad players are not on teams’ 53-man rosters but get paid to train as if they are and can be promoted to the full team. They can also be signed to the 53-man rosters of other teams.

Saints begin assembling practice squad

The Saints began assembling the first iteration of their 10-man practice squad for 2014 at 11 a.m. Sunday. According to sources, these players are signing to join the Saints’ practice squad:

-WR Brandon Coleman (undrafted rookie)
-CB Trevin Wade (eligible non-rookie)
-CB Terrence Frederick (eligible non-rookie)
-WR Seantavius Jones (undrafted rookie)
-T Tavon Rooks (rookie sixth-round draft pick)
-LB Todd Davis (undrafted rookie)
-NT Lawrence Virgil (undrafted rookie)

The Saints waived all of these players on Saturday, when New Orleans unveiled its first 53-man roster. They cleared waivers unclaimed.

Nine other players the Saints waived Saturday also went unclaimed: C Matt Armstrong, CB Derrius Brooks, K Derek Dimke, WR Charles Hawkins, TE Nic Jacobs, T/G Marcel Jones, RB Derrick Strozier, NT Lawrence Virgil, S Pierre Warren and T Jason Weaver.

(Compiled by Nick Underhill and Ramon Antonio Vargas)

Everyone who was cut before the Saints’ first 53-man roster was finalized and who is eligible for the practice squad

With their first iteration of a 53-man roster finalized, the Saints now turn their attention to filling out a 10-man practice squad, something they can begin doing at 11 a.m. local time Sunday, when the period for teams to put in claims for players waived Saturday expires.

Rookies the Saints waived Saturday who are eligible for their practice squad are center Matt Armstrong, wide receiver Brandon Coleman, linebacker Todd Davis, tight end Nic Jacobs, wide receiver Seantavius Jones, tackle Tavon Rooks, running back Derrick Strozier, defensive lineman Lawrence Virgil and safety Pierre Warren.

Cornerback Derrius Brooks, cornerback Trevin Wade, kicker Derek Dimke, cornerback Terrence Frederick, wide receiver Charles Hawkins as well as offensive linemen Jason Weaver and Marcel Jones are non-rookies waived Saturday who are nonetheless eligible for the practice squad.

By virtue of being kept on for longer in the course of the evaluation process, Saints players who were waived Saturday are more likely to be signed to New Orleans’ practice squad than those let go before. Warren and Jones both had impact plays in games this preseason, with the former picking off a pass against Baltimore and the latter catching a touchdown pass against Tennessee. Virgil was credited with a quarterback sack in a win at Indianapolis.

Meanwhile, Hawkins led the Saints in kickoff return yards — 105, all on three attempts in the loss to Baltimore. Those who thrived at times in training camp practices were Brooks, in pass coverage; Jacobs, hauling in throws in traffic; Wade, who was on the Saints’ active roster for four games in 2013, including two in the playoffs; Jones, while auditioning at guard and tackle after spending last season on the practice squad; and Strozier, especially catching out of the backfield.

Nonetheless, several players who were on the Saints’ 90-man training camp roster but didn’t make it past the first round of cuts Tuesday are eligible for the practice squad, too. They are quarterback Logan Kilgore, defensive end George Uko, offensive lineman Manase Foketi, linebacker Rufus Johnson Jr., linebacker Kevin Reddick, cornerback Roderick Sweeting, running back Timothy Flanders, tight end Je’Ron Hamm, outside linebacker Chidera Uzo-Diribe and wide receiver Tobais Palmer. All of them went unclaimed on the waiver wire the day after they were cut and became free agents.

Saints who are on season-ending injured reserve but would’ve been eligible for the practice squad if healthy and left off the 53-man roster were tackle Ty Nsekhe and safety Ty Zimmerman.

Earlier in August, NFL officials announced changes to practice squads in 2014 and 2015, which increased the maximum number of players from eight to 10 and expanded eligibility for players who have earned no more than two accrued seasons.

Previously, players who earned one or more accrued seasons were not allowed to be placed on practice squads unless the player spent fewer than nine games on the active roster in their accrued seasons.

Under the new rules, the two additional players on each practice squad can have up to 32 games on an active roster over their first two seasons. What this means is that anyone who was a rookie in 2012 or 2013 can now fill the final two practice squad spots.

The other eight players remain under the old rules.

Also, players must be on a practice squad for six games of a season in order for that campaign to count as one of the three seasons they are permitted to have on practice squads. It used to be three games.

Saints unveil first 53-man roster

The first draft of the Saints’ 2014 roster includes two undrafted rookies, five of six 2014 draft picks and no kickers.

Linebacker Kasim Edebali and cornerback Brian Dixon are the undrafted rookies to crack the roster. Five of the six 2014 draft picks made the team: receiver Brandin Cooks (first round), cornerback Stanley Jean-Baptiste (second round), linebacker Khairi Fortt (fourth round), as well as linebacker Ronald Powell and safety Vinnie Sunseri (both fifth round).

One player who is not a first-year pro and made the roster with long odds was safety Marcus Ball, who was in the Canadian Football League last year. Another is fullback Austin Johnson, who was on the practice squad in 2013 but made the team after Erik Lorig (the projected starter at his position) got hurt. Yet another is veteran defensive lineman Brandon Deaderick, who came to the Saints in free agency in June after time in New England and Jacksonville.

With no kicker on the team, a roster spot will have to cleared when a kicker is signed in time for the Saints’ Week 1 game at Atlanta on Sept. 7. That can be done by cutting a player or placing one on injured reserve, even if it’s of the short-term variety and not the season-ending one. Candidates for that could include Lorig and Fortt — who each had leg injuries in the preseason — or Ball, who had been hurt toward the end of training camp.

QUARTERBACKS (3)
4 Ryan Griffin
7 Luke McCown
9 Drew Brees

RUNNING BACKS (4)
22 Mark Ingram
23 Pierre Thomas
29 Khiry Robinson
39 Travaris Cadet

FULLBACKS (2)
35 Austin Johnson
41 Erik Lorig

WIDE RECEIVERS (5)
10 Brandin Cooks
12 Marques Colston
13 Joseph Morgan
84 Kenny Stills
88 Nick Toon

TIGHT ENDS (3)
80 Jimmy Graham
82 Benjamin Watson
89 Josh Hill

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (8)
51 Jonathan Goodwin C
64 Zach Strief T
65 Senio Kelemete G
66 Ben Grubbs G
68 Tim Lelito C/G
72 Terron Armstead T
73 Jahri Evans G
79 Bryce Harris T

SPECIALISTS (2)
6 Thomas Morstead P
47 Justin Drescher LS

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN (7)
67 Brandon Deaderick NT
75 Tyrunn Walker DE
76 Akiem Hicks DE
77 Brodrick Bunkley NT
92 John Jenkins NT
94 Cameron Jordan DE
97 Glenn Foster DE

LINEBACKERS (9)
50 Curtis Lofton ILB
53 Ramon Humber ILB
54 Khairi Fortt OLB
56 Ronald Powell OLB
57 David Hawthorne ILB
58 Kyle Knox ILB
91 Kasim Edebali OLB
93 Junior Galette OLB
98 Parys Haralson OLB

DEFENSIVE BACKS (5)
21 Patrick Robinson
24 Corey White
28 Keenan Lewis
33 Stanley Jean-Baptiste
44 Brian Dixon

SAFETIES (5)
25 Rafael Bush
31 Jairus Byrd
32 Kenny Vaccaro
36 Marcus Ball
43 Vinnie Sunseri

Injured Reserve (4)
14 Andy Tanner WR
78 Ty Nsekhe T
20 A.J. Davis CB
49 Ty Zimmerman S

List of Saints cuts as roster is reduced to 53 players

Mickey Loomis, executive vice president/general manager of the New Orleans Saints, talks with Saints head coach Sean Payton, right, in the first half of an NBA basketball game between the New Orleans Hornets and the Phoenix Suns in New Orleans, Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)

Mickey Loomis, executive vice president/general manager of the New Orleans Saints, talks with Saints head coach Sean Payton, right, in the first half of an NBA basketball game between the New Orleans Hornets and the Phoenix Suns in New Orleans, Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)

As the 3 p.m. Saturday deadline to reduce their roster from 75 to 53 members nears, the Saints have cut the following players.

-Cornerback Champ Bailey

-Wide receiver Robert Meachem

-Kicker Shayne Graham

-Kicker Derek Dimke

-Running back Derrick Strozier

-Veteran fullback Greg Jones

-Tackle/guard Jason Weaver

-Cornerback Trevin Wade

-Wide receiver Charles Hawkins

-Cornerback Terrence Frederick

-Wide receiver Brandon Coleman

-Linebacker Keyunta Dawson

-Tackle/guard Marcel Jones

-Cornerback Derrius Brooks

-Defensive lineman Lawrence Virgil

-Wide receiver Seantavius Jones

-Tackle Thomas Welch

-Center Matt Armstrong

-Linebacker Todd Davis

-Tight end Nic Jacobs

-Tackle Tavon Rooks

-Safety Pierre Warren