One local radio show, WWL It is reporting that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell could announce punishments for the Saints players who are alleged to have been involved in the controversy. The NFL has stated that 22 to 27 current and former Saints players were involved.
With Sean Payton expected to begin his one-year punishment (subject to the appeal) on Monday, if anything, the New Orleans Saints and the fans need a sense of certainty. That is for certain.
As Bill Parcells continues to talk, it appears he will be the Saints coach in 2012.."If the opportunity presents itself, I'll think it over and clearly I'm in some phase of the process without knowing whether it's going to become a reality," Bill Parcells told ESPN senior NFL analyst by phone. "Sean's become a dear friend. I'm trying to be a friend."
Mortensen said on Thursday he had a "gut feeling" Parcells would be the Saints coach this season.
"You know when I was a young coach, there were people like Chuck Noll, Chuck Knox and Tom Landry who were there for me," Parcells told Mortensen. "I think to honor those guys who helped me, you turn around and pass that legacy on to somebody else and Sean's an example of that. If he needs me and the owner and GM feel the same way, then I'd be a hypocrite if I didn't consider it.
"Sean is not doing the hiring. That's up to Mickey Loomis and Tom Benson. I'm just getting to know Loomis. We've obviously had discussions about doing this, but there are still too many hypotheticals to draw a conclusion right now."
Parcells, who has won two Super Bowls, also coached the Jets, Giants, Patriots and Cowboys, could present an ideal quick fix for a franchise that has Super Bowl aspirations.
Loomis signed former Falcons free agent linebacker Curtis Lofton after the Falcons and Bucs thought the asking price for Lofton was too high.
Lofton's asking price dropped quite a bit from where it started, which was reported to be above $8 million per season. But it didn't drop enough for the Falcons or Bucs to step back into the game. Although the Saints have a tight cap situation, Loomis signed Lofton to a deal that's very cap friendly.
Here are contract numbers ESPN.com obtained for my pal Pat Yasinskas, who covers the NFC South for ESPN: Lofton got a five-year deal that averages $5.5 million a year and could end up being worth as much as $33.5 million if he reaches escalators in the final three years of the deal. Lofton got a $5 million signing bonus, but his first-year cap figure will be a very friendly $1.7 million because his first-year base salary will be only $700,000.
This deal is back-loaded because Lofton is scheduled to get a $5 million roster bonus in 2013, when his base salary is $1.1 million. In 2014, Lofton's base salary is only $1 million, but he's scheduled for another $2 million roster bonus. In 2015, Lofton is scheduled to earn $2.4 million in base salary and colle3dgt another roster bonus for $4.5 million and a $100,000 workout bonus.
In 2016, Lofton's base salary rises to $5.4 million and he's scheduled to receive a $100,000 workout bonus. The final year of the deal (2017) is voidable and Lofton is scheduled to make $6 million in base salary.
Lofton's biggest cap hits will come in 2013 ($7.1 million) and 2015 ($8 million).
Falcons free agent cornerback Kelvin Hayden will visit the Saints this weekend. With Tracy Porter going to the Broncos, the Saints need a No. 3 cornerback. He had two interceptions in eight games before landing on the injured list with a toe injury. Hayden, was a longtime starter for the Bears.