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Drew Brees tells Dan Patrick Show contract talks ongoing, plans to retire a Saint

New Orleans Saints' Drew Brees passes during the second half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2015, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

New Orleans Saints’ Drew Brees passes during the second half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2015, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Drew Brees remains optimistic that he’ll sign a contract extension with the New Orleans Saints.

He just doesn’t know when.

Brees, who carries a $30 million cap charge in the final year of his deal this season, has stuck to the same message for most of the offseason.

“It’s ongoing,” Brees told The Dan Patrick Show Tuesday. “It’s kind of the normal contract process where there really is no deadline. … Bottom line is this: I have so much trust and confidence in our organization and my future there. I think it’s only a matter of time. I don’t know when it’s going to be.”

Brees’ agent, Tom Condon, told Sirius XM on Monday night that there’s really nothing to update on talks between himself and the Saints.

Patrick asked Brees if he would retire as a Saint.

“That’s my plan,” Brees said. “Absolutely.”

Brees also spoke at length about the Bountygate scandal, saying that the investigation was carried out against the Saints with a predetermined result, because the NFL was facing hard scrutiny over its player safety policies.

The Saints quarterback pointed out that the players who fought the allegations were declared innocent, but the initial damage had already been done.

Brees also has a problem with Roger Goodell’s broad powers in player discipline.

“This unilateral decision-making, ability to give punishment by the commissioner is really unfair,” Brees said. “I think that there should be other people involved in that process.”

For Brees’ full comments, check out the entire interview at The Dan Patrick Show’s website.

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.”

Agent Tom Condon: No update on Saints QB Drew Brees’ contract situation

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) calls a play during the first quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD — New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) calls a play during the first quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Tom Condon said he was unable to provide an update when asked about Drew Brees’ contract situation during an appearance on Sirius XM radio on Monday night.

“I can’t really,” Condon said. “I think everyone knows Drew’s got the cap number that’s very substantial this year and it’s the last year of his contract.”

Brees carries a $30 million cap charge this season, the final year of his contract.

Both the Saints and Brees have expressed a desire to extend their relationship, but a new deal is still not in place. ESPN reported over the weekend that the quarterback would have been willing to “modify” his deal so New Orleans could sign cornerback Josh Norman.

The former Carolina Panther ultimately rebuffed the Saints and agreed to a contract with the Washington Redskins.

During his interview, Condon pointed out that Brees’ inflated cap figure is the result of New Orleans pushing money down the line.

“We gave the Saints the ability to manipulate the cap whatever way they wanted to and that was in his previous contract,” Condon said. “A couple of different times they’ve renegotiated for cap purposes and it’s pushed that number up in the last year quite a bit. But everybody does their business differently.

“Drew will play this year like he’s under contract to and he’s excited this season. He thinks they have a really good young team.”

MORE SAINTS COVERAGE

Nick Underhill: Breaking down pros, cons of Saints moving up, down in upcoming draft

Nick Underhill: Until Saints nail down plan for life after Drew Brees, they must keep looking at quarterbacks

‘No weaknesses’: James Laurinaitis is ready to show the Saints he’s as tough as they come

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.

Sources: Washington’s Travis Feeney, Nebraska’s Alex Lewis visit Saints

Washington linebacker Travis Feeney runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Washington linebacker Travis Feeney runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

The New Orleans Saints have brought in Washington linebacker Travis Feeney and Nebraska offensive lineman Alex Lewis for pre-draft visits, sources told The Advocate.

Feeney, who measured in at 6-foot-4, 230 pounds at the NFL scouting combine, took over for Saints edge rusher Hau’oli Kikaha in the Huskies’ defense last season, registering eight sacks from the “Buck” position.

But Feeney projects as more of a weak-side linebacker in the NFL, where his speed (4.5-second 40-yard dash) and explosiveness (40-inch vertical leap) make him a candidate to make the move, and he has coverage instincts from playing safety early in his career with the Huskies.

Lewis, a 6-foot-6, 312-pound tackle for the past two seasons at Nebraska, played guard for Colorado before transferring, and could be a candidate to move inside again.

New Orleans has either worked out or brought in several players for a visit at both linebacker and interior offensive line, two positions that could be addressed in next week’s NFL Draft.

Visit

Moritz Boehringer, WR, Germany

Daniel Braverman, WR, Western Michigan (Detroit News)

Ryan Brown, DE, Mississippi State (Houston Chronicle)

Kevin Byard, S, Middle Tennessee State

Leonte Carroo, WR, Rutgers

Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State (NFL Network)

Kamalei Correa, LB, Boise State (Tony Pauline)

Su’a Cravens, OLB/SS, USC

Travis Feeney, LB, Washington

Jared Goff, QB, Cal 

Cyrus Jones, CB, Alabama

Deion Jones, LB, LSU

Jayron Kearse, S, Clemson

Alex Lewis, OL, Nebraska

Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis

Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Ole Miss

Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama (WWL)

Noah Spence, DE, Eastern Kentucky

Jason Spriggs, OT, Indiana (Tony Pauline)

Landon Turner, OG, North Carolina (Charlotte Observer)

Nate Sudfeld, QB, Indiana

Nick Vigil, LB, Utah State

Stephen Weatherly, LB/DE, Vanderbilt

Private workout

Stephen Anderson, TE, Cal

Pharoh Cooper, WR, South Carolina

Steven Daniels, LB, Boston College

Tyler Ervin, RB, San Jose State

Tyler Higbee, TE, Western Kentucky

Myles Jack, LB, UCLA

Jordan Jenkins, OLB, Georgia

Kenny Lawler, WR, Cal

Yannick Ngakoue, DE, Maryland (Houston Chronicle)

Rees Odhiambo, G, Boise State

Darius Powe, WR, Cal

Justin Simmons, S, Boston College

Vanderbilt’s Stephen Weatherly, Western Michigan’s Daniel Braverman visit Saints

Vanderbilt linebacker Stephen Weatherly runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Vanderbilt linebacker Stephen Weatherly runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

The New Orleans Saints have brought in a wide range of players for the 30 official pre-draft visits the team is allowed before next weeks.

Vanderbilt edge rusher Stephen Weatherly, according to a source, and Western Michigan wide receiver Daniel Braverman, according to the Detroit News, are two more to add to the list.

Weatherly, who measured in at 6-foot-4, 267 pounds and played outside linebacker in a 3-4 his last two years for the Commodores, had 11.5 sacks in three years with Vanderbilt, although he never posted more than 4.5 in a single season.

Braverman, who was not invited to the NFL scouting combine, stands 5-10, posted a 4.47 in the 40-yard dash at his Pro Day and might be one of the most productive receivers in the draft. Braverman caught 108 passes for 1,371 yards and 13 touchdowns last year.

Visit

Moritz Boehringer, WR, Germany

Daniel Braverman, WR, Western Michigan (Detroit News)

Ryan Brown, DE, Mississippi State (Houston Chronicle)

Leonte Carroo, WR, Rutgers

Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State (NFL Network)

Kamalei Correa, LB, Boise State (Tony Pauline)

Su’a Cravens, OLB/SS, USC

Jared Goff, QB, Cal 

Cyrus Jones, CB, Alabama

Deion Jones, LB, LSU

Jayron Kearse, S, Clemson

Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis

Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Ole Miss

Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama (WWL)

Noah Spence, DE, Eastern Kentucky

Jason Spriggs, OT, Indiana (Tony Pauline)

Landon Turner, OG, North Carolina (Charlotte Observer)

Nate Sudfeld, QB, Indiana

Nick Vigil, LB, Utah State

Stephen Weatherly, LB/DE, Vanderbilt

Private workout

Stephen Anderson, TE, Cal

Pharoh Cooper, WR, South Carolina

Steven Daniels, LB, Boston College

Tyler Ervin, RB, San Jose State

Tyler Higbee, TE, Western Kentucky

Myles Jack, LB, UCLA

Jordan Jenkins, DE/OLB, Georgia

Kenny Lawler, WR, Cal

Yannick Ngakoue, DE, Maryland (Houston Chronicle)

Rees Odhiambo, G, Boise State

Darius Powe, WR, Cal

Justin Simmons, S, Boston College

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.