Friday, 24 February 2012 10:20
Nicks, Colston, Porter, Meachem Gone With The Brees Tag?
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brees-panthersDrew Brees usually is the center of attention.  He is synonymous with the New Orleans Saints during the season.    Now, the future of the New Orleans Saints and some of its star players are focused upon what he and the management might do.

If the Saints have to put the franchise tag on Brees, it has been reported that guard Carl Nicks likely will depart along with wide receiver Marques Colston, cornerback Tracy Porter and wide receiver Robert Meachem--sort of a new spinoff called  "Gone with the Brees".  Without doubt, the fate of the New Orleans Saints lies with the man who has taken them to the NFL land of milk and honey. 

The next two weeks will be critical to the process and the next `10 days will crucial to the question on whether the Saints will be able to put the tag on Nicks.  If Monday, March 5 comes, and a deal hasn't been done with Brees, the stage will be set for a mini exodus of key supporting Saints players.

Drew Brees told fans assembled at his new Jimmy John's restaurant that he is very confident he'll do a new long-term deal with the Saints.

Saints GM Mickey Loomis and Brees' agent Tom Condon are continuing talks at the NFL Combine this week in Indianapolis. Brees expects things to pick up steam with the franchise tag deadline on March 5 and free agency beginning on March 13.

The Saints had the 25th highest payroll in 2011 at $49,447,000. The Redskins were No. 1 at $84,950,000.

Many of the Saints are looking for long-term, big-deals in 2012.
Here are the Saints salaries for 2011:
1.  Drew  Brees                    $7,393,500
2.  Will Smith                        $6,000,000
3. Jonathan Vilma                $5,130,000
4. Jabari Greer                     $4,500,000
5. Sedrick Ellis                     $3,720,000
6. Marques Colston             $3,000,000
7. Jahri Evans                      $3,000,000
8. Carl Nicks                         $2,610,000
9. Devery Henderson           $2,250,000
10. Lance Moore                   $2,000,000
11. Franklin Abrayo              $1,250,000
12. Robert Meachem            $1,250,000
13. Malcolm Jenkins            $712,000
14. Korey Hall                       $700,000
15. Pierre Thomas                $640,000
16. Tracy Porter                    $630,000
17. Jonathan Casillas          $480,000
18. Chase Daniel                  $480,000
19. Thomas Morstead          $480,000
20. Charles Brown               $480,000
21. Justin Drescher             $405,000
22. Junior Galette                $405,000
23. Jimmy Graham              $405,000
24. Chris Ivory                     $405,000
25. Patrick Robinson          $405,000
26. Matt Tennant                 $405,000
27. Mark Ingram                  $375,000


The Saints will play in this season's first preseason game, reports.

The Saints have volunteered to play in the Hall of Fame Game on Aug. 5 in Canton, Ohio.

The appearance would coincide with the induction  of former Saints tackle Willie Roaf into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Roaf, who was selected to the Hall earlier this month, played his first nine seasons with the Saints before ending his career with the Chiefs.

Franchises with players who are being inducted are usually chosen for the Hall of Fame Game. Other players being honored this year are running back Curtis Martin (Jets), defensive end Chris Doleman (Vikings), defensive back Jack Butler (Steelers), defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy (Seahawks) an d center Dermonti Dawson (Steelers).

The Saints last played in the Hall of Fame Game against the Steelers in 2007.

This game will give the Saints five preseason games and they can start training camp a week early.


A group led by Los Angeles businessman Raj Bhathal has emerged as a top candidate to buy the Hornets, an NBA source said. Tom Benson, Tom Benson's brother, is in the group, as well as former NBA coach Mike Dunleavy. Bhathal, 72, and Benson, 66, once owned franchises in the now defunct World League of American Football. Saints owner Tom Benson has withdrawn his bid for the Hornets...Parting thought: "Fish in schools like to debate."...

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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