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Thursday, 07 June 2012 05:07
Perhaps New Orleans Saints-Drew Brees Agreement Still Shooting The Breeze
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brees-sonCould the standoff between the New Orleans Saints and quarterback Drew Brees be nearing an end? Despite reports to the contrary by Mike Triplett of the Times-Picayune that the contract talks are far from being over, WWL Saints sideline reporter Kristian Garic has reported that the Saints and holdout quarterback Drew Brees are very close to getting a long-tem deal done that could pay Brees $20 million annually over five years.

“Both sides have closed the gap rapidly," reports Garic. "Reports came out on Monday they were about $2 million apart and they have closed that gap pretty closely.

"It could happen tomorrow or over the weekend,” said Garic.

Brees is here doing two television commercials.

Documentarian releases more bounty-related material

On Wednesday, filmmaker Sean Pamphilion handed another bounty baton to Mike Silver of Yahoo! Sports, and Silver in turn reported that a pair of Saints defenders received payment for "whacks" in the wild-card playoff win over the Lions. What wasn't reported could be a bigger problem for the NFL's stubborn insistence that the Saints used a bounty system.

As Silver explains, the league believes that cash was paid to safety Roman Harper and linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar for so-called “whacks” which would seem to constitute more evidence of pay-for-injury system. An unnamed Saints source tells Silver that "whack" was simply a word former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams used for a good, clean hit.

Linebacker Jonathan Vilma elaborated on Twitter in response to Silver's report, "A whack is a legal low tackle.”

The NFL will hear appeals of Vilma and the other players suspended on June 18.

Training camp news &notes

Saints running back Mark Ingram described his recent left knee scope "as minor as it gets," and promises to be 100 percent by training camp. "Just something that needed to be fixed and I went in and got it done," Ingram told the media.

Second-year player Martez Wilson, who is making the move from linebacker to defensive end, said he believes someday he can be a Hall of Fame player. If he can come remotely close to that, the Saints, who need to improve their pass rush, will be more than delighted.

Toward the end of the Wednesday morning practice, the players were involved in a minor skirmish, which is not unusual for minicamps.

It started when linebacker Curtis Lofton said he "grazed" quarterback Chase Daniel on a pass rush. Someone yelled, "Stay away from the quarterback" and the next thing you saw was Daniel firing a ball at Lofton's feet.

That prompted players from the offense and defense to do some pushing and shoving for about 90 seconds.

That kind of thing isn't uncommon for minicamps or training camps. Coaches frequently blame the heat, and it was plenty hot on Wednesday. The players were able to laugh it off afterwards.

"I think we'll back up and take them to a petting zoo or something like that tomorrow," joked interim head coach Joe Vitt.

In the locker room, Lofton and Daniel said they had no problem with each other, but they have a little history.

"Oh, it's just a little old Big 12 heated thing," laughed Lofton.

Daniel, who played at Missouri, complimented Lofton and said the linebacker, who played at Oklahoma, delivered the hardest hit he ever took in college.

Lofton recalled the play from the 2007 Big 12 championship game.

“Chase was running the option and we told the defensive end to take the pitch, so he thought he was free," said Lofton. "I came up and put one pretty good one on him. We won the game. It wasn't even a competition. I picked him off in that game, too.”

Both players were laughing during the swapping of tales.

Question: Who has the upper hand, Brees or the New Orleans Saints?  Discuss below:  

{jvotesystem poll=|14|}

 

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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.  

 

Website: www.louisianasportstalk.com
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