Friday, 11 March 2011 18:35

New Orleans Saints: NFL Lockout, Heath Evans, Starcaps And Will Smith, Tiki Barber

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Ed StatonUnder a new collective bargaining agreement, the Saints could lose some of these free agents: Darren Sharper, Roman Harper, Scott Shanle, Clint Ingram, Jermon Bushrod, Remi Ayodele and Jonathan Goodwin. The Saints assigned a whole bunch of free agent tenders, but they could be meaningless under a new CBA,

Saints fullback Heath Evans expects the lockout to last until July or August.

On Wednesday, Evans was promoting "The Heath Evans Foundation, which is hosting a "Softball Showdown" on May 17 at Zephyr Field. Saints offensive players will battle Saints defensive players and the offense is favored by two runs.

Drew Brees wil lead the offense, while Jon Vilma will captain the defense. The event will start with a home run derby at 6:30 p.m., followed by a seven-inning softball game. The night will be capped off with a fireworks display.

Evans said he believes the owners have been preparing for a lockout for two years, and he thinks they're willing to dig in for an extended fight, hoping the players will ultimately give up their fight because they need regular paychecks. He believes it will be July or early August before an agreement is reached.

Evans thinks the owners believe they will get the lost money back, and the fans will come back "The owners are probably right," said Evans. He doesn't believe the owners will back down and if they lose season-ticket  holders, they'll get that money back from getting the players to go backwards in negotiations, that the owners will make the money back within two years with the new CPA.

"These billionaires are calculated in what they do, and honestly they're smarter than 99 per cent of the guys in the NFL."

Evans said he talks with NFLPA vice president Brees though the quarterback keeps some information private.

Evans said his softball game is about bringing  the fans what they want. "What the best fans in the business want, they get," said Evans "Our goal is to get 12,000 fans at Zephyr Field to help raise awareness of our foundation that helps children and young people who are affected by childhood sexual abuse.

Tickets are $10 and $15 for premium tickets, which gets patrons included in a drawing for two lucky fans to be on the field "managing" the teams. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster or the Zephyrs Field box office.

Evans isn't sure he'll be offered a contract for this season because he's 33 and missed an entire season with a ruptured ACL.

"There are only two teams I would play for," said Evans. "The Saints and the Patriots."


Vikings defensive tackle Kevin Williams did not file an appeal within 30 days after an intermediate appellate court ruling that upheld his suspension. That ends his case arising from a 2008 positive test for bumetanide, a banned diuretic that secretly had been added to the-over-the counter weight-loss supplement known as Starcaps. Teammate Pat Williams has decided to appeal. The fact that Pat Williams opted to continue to the fight likely means that Saints defensive end Will Smith likewise will continue to escape the four-game suspension. Though the NFL obtained legal clearance to suspend Smith in 2009, the league opted not to create the perception of unequal treatment. Two other Saints -- Deuce McAllister and Charles Grant -- also were in line for a suspension in 2008, but both have left the league...

WILL TIKI Barber get a call from Sean Payton? I doubt it, but Payton is Barber's former offensive coordinator with the Giants and he could get some use out of him if he gets into football shape. The Saints have some questions surrounding the running back position and could be wiling to at least see what Barber, 35, has to offer. His over-all versatility and experience could be valuable for the Saints, who likely will return to the playoffs.

SOME hither,others yon: A rehabbing Patriots running Kevin Faulk estimates that his right knee is at 70 to 75 per cent and said he's taking his recovery one stage at a time, The former LSU running back tore his ACL in September, and it's gets better every day. He has yet to make a determination on his future as far as playing this seasonable there are too many variables right now. If there is a lockout, Faulk will head to his home state of Louisiana to continue his recovery....

Forbes is out with its annual of the richest people in the world, and Seahawks owner Paul Allen checks in at No. 37, making him the NFL's richest owner with a net worth of $13.5 billion.  Allen who founded Microsoft with his pal Bill Gates in 1975, is more than $10 billion richer than the second richest owner, Stephen Ross of the Dolphins who checks in at $3.4 billion. The poorest NFL owner is the Steelers' Dan Rooney, who owns only a portion of the team and has a net worth of $150 million...

by Ed Staton

Go To Louisiana Sports Talk


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. | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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