Friday, 06 May 2011 10:52
New Orleans Saints: Shanle, NFL Schedule, Toronto
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Saints free agent weakside linebacker Scott Shanle is not expected back this season unless he agrees to a "team friendly" deal.

Shanle has been talking contract with the Saints for more than a year, but the labor uncertainty has precluded a deal. Shanle was Pro Football Focus' lowest rated 4-3 outside linebacker in the league last season.

He arrived in New Ofleans in 2006 and has been one of the Saints' top defenders. He has played all three linebacker positions. He came to the Saints in a trade with the Cowboys.

The Saints figure to have more depth at linebacker this season with Johnathan Cassillas coming back from injury and third-round draft choice Martez Wilson, who will begin his career at strongside linebacker.

Part-time linebacker Danny Clark played well last season, but he is 34 and the Saints haven't placed a priority in re-signing him.

Wilson likely will battle JoLonn Dunbar for the starting strongside job.

The Saints are quietly replacing older veterans with youth, following the successful pattern coach Bill Belichick employs at New England.

NFL Schedule

The NFL's schedule is out, but the league and the players union  are still in the midst of labor negotiations that could threaten some, or all of the upcoming season.

If the season does in fact get played like most are expecting, the Packers and the Patriots are the favorites to win the Super Bowl, according to

The Saints' odds are set at 16/1.

Team                                                                                      Odds

Green Bay                                                                               7/1
New England                                                                           7/1
Pittsburgh                                                                                11/1
San Diego                                                                               12/1
Baltimore                                                                                 14/1
New York Jets                                                                         14/1
Saints                                                                                       16/1
Indianapolis                                                                             16/1
Atlanta                                                                                      16/1
Philadelphia                                                                             16/1
Dallas                                                                                       16/1
New York Giants                                                                      18/1
Tampa Bay                                                                               30/1
Minnesota                                                                                 35/1
Detroit                                                                                       35/1
Houston                                                                                    35/1
Kansas City                                                                              35/1
Oakland                                                                                    40/1
San Francisco                                                                          40/1
St.Louis                                                                                     40/1
Miami                                                                                         50/1
Tennessee                                                                                50/1
Washington                                                                               50/1
Cincinnati                                                                                   60/1
Jacksonville                                                                               65/1
Arizona                                                                                       75/1
Seattle                                                                                        80/1
Buffalo                                                                                      100/1
Carolina                                                                                    100/1


Toronto councillor Doug Ford has apologized to New Orleans and Louisiana for saying New Orleans and Jacksonville were on his short list of possible relocating NFL teams to Toronto. Ford said he should have never included the Saints in his remarks to, which published his comments. Ford said his office was flooded with emails all day Thursday. "It was an off-the-cuff remark I should have never made,"  said Ford. So, I guess that's the end of that.


Kentucky Derby

Derby picks: Saturday's Kentucky Derby selections-- 1) Nehro 2) Dialed In 3) Archardarch. Nehro ran a solid second in the Louisiana Derby and has improved in every race since. He'll be flying at the end. Longshot plays: Twice the Appeal (Calvin Borel) and Comma at the Top.


by Ed Staton

...(Order your 2011 LSU Schedule T-shirts from Louisiana Sports


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Ed Staton

Ed Staton is a former sports writer for the Times Picayune and New Orleans States Item.  He also served as the New Orleans Saints Information Director.  He has won 43 media awards in writing, design and photography.  


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