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Jimmy Graham - TE Posted 7/16/14 7:19pm et
New Orleans Saints TE Jimmy Graham said it was hard not to work with his teammates this offseason but did work out in Miami with free-agent LB Jonathan Vilma (Saints). He said he had a similar regime this offseason than what he did during the lockout in 2011, which produced one of his best NFL seasons. 'It was tough being away from the guys,' Graham said. 'The good thing is that the base and group of friends I have here in Miami is still strong. I did the same thing I did during the lockout year. I basically did the same day-to-day routine that I did (in 2011). And after the lockout, I had one of my best seasons I have ever had.'
Huddle Up: No worries about Graham showing up to training camp out of shape as he sets to work earning the big payday he just inked.

Jimmy Graham - TE Posted 7/15/14 3:06am et
The New Orleans Saints are close to a long-term deal with franchise free-agent TE Jimmy Graham that would make Graham the highest-paid tight end in NFL history. The team is optimistic that a deal will get done by the July 15 deadline.
Huddle Up: Graham is appealing the ruling that allowed the Saints to franchise him as a tight end, so if a deal is to be reached expect it to be for more than tight end money. Graham is valuable enough to the Saints that it would make sense to overpay him; if they do, it would alleviate a whole bunch of concern heading into fantasy draft day.

Jimmy Graham - TE Posted 7/15/14 12:20pm et
Updating earlier reports, New Orleans Saints TE Jimmy Graham will be the highest-paid tight end in the league with his 4-year, $40 million deal with between $20 million and $21 million guaranteed.
Huddle Up: As expected, the deal beat the deadline and put Graham atop the TE charts -- a place he's already held in fantasy the past couple of seasons. On the flip side, Graham is more important than ever to QB Drew Brees and the Saints' passing game considering the team's young WR corps and the offseason departure of pass-catching RB Darren Sproles, who's now in Philly.

Marques Colston - WR Posted 7/6/14 3:27pm et
New Orleans Saints WR Marques Colston (foot) said he is feeling healthy this season. 'I feel really good,' Colston said. 'The foot I know was addressed earlier in the offseason. It's really not an issue. I've been able to get out here with really no restrictions and just run around and feel good.'
Huddle Up: Colston is coming off 5-year lows in receiving yards (943) and TDs (5) in 2013, but he remains Drew Brees' No. 2 target behind TE Jimmy Graham. And if Graham doesn't get a new contract and winds up holding out for any length of time in protest of his franchise tag, Colston quickly ascends to the top of the list.

Jimmy Graham - TE Posted 7/3/14 4:46pm et
The New Orleans Saints will now begin contract negotiations with the agent franchise free-agent TE Jimmy Graham, because the two sides were waiting on the ruling on Graham's grievance before starting contract talks. There appears to be a chance that Graham will not be interested in his franchise tender if the two sides are not able to reach an agreement before the July 15 deadline and could hold out during training camp and possibly the regular season.
Huddle Up: The TE ruling was only the latest domino to fall in this ongoing saga with fantasy's reigning No. 1 TE, but even if a deal can't be struck, Graham needs to accept reality and realize the franchise tender is going to be the best he can do for now, even if it is obviously less than he's worth.

Drew Brees - QB Posted 6/29/14 12:17am et
New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees said he knows whether TE Jimmy Graham will be ruled as a tight end or a wide receiver. Brees said he spoke with arbitrator Stephen Burbank, who clued him in on how he will rule. 'He kind of let me know what his ruling is going to be,' Brees said. 'But he swore me to secrecy, so I can't really say at this point.'
Huddle Up: Brees also knows who shot JFK and what happened after the Sopranos' finale faded to black, but he isn't revealing those secrets either. The rest of us should find out Graham's fate in the next few days. And the debate can begin: if Graham is declared a wide receiver for NFL purposes, should he also be considered a WR for fantasy purposes?

Khiry Robinson - RB Posted 6/25/14 12:07am et
New Orleans Saints RB Khiry Robinson has doubled his offseason workouts to add additional strength and stamina. He has also studied the playbook extensively, which head coach Sean Payton has noticed, 'You see him, just from an assignment standpoint, understanding the protections much quicker.' Robinson will compete for touches with RBs Pierre Thomas, Mark Ingram and Travaris Cadet.
Huddle Up: Darren Sproles is now out of the RB picture in the Big Easy, but that might not benefit Robinson as much as the other backs unless he can contribute more as a pass catcher. Robinson failed to log a reception last year as a rookie while rushing 54 times for 224 yards and a TD.

Brandin Cooks - WR Posted 6/19/14 2:11am et
New Orleans Saints WR Brandin Cooks could be in line to replace RB Darren Sproles' production in his rookie season, according to QB Drew Brees. Brees noted that the team was creative with Sproles, using him out of the backfield, splitting him wide and using him on screen passes. Cooks was versatile and extremely productive in 2013 in college, and he's incredibly fast, has good hands and is strong after the catch. "Oh man, I've seen all the highlights, and that gets you excited," Brees said. "I think he can do a lot of things. I think he can play outside receiver. I think I he can play inside in the slot. You can hand him reverses. You can throw him screens. He can return punts."
Huddle Up: Cooks has plenty of speed, and as Brees noted the Saints know what to do to free up a speedy receiver and get him the ball in space. Cooks taking over the Sproles role also frees up Kenny Stills to take over the Lance Moore/Devery Henderson role in New England's offense--and both roles could see an uptick in looks if the Jimmy Graham contract dispute isn't resolved in a manner that gets Graham back on the field for the start of the season.

Jimmy Graham - TE Posted 6/18/14 11:32am et
Updating an ongoing story, the franchise-tag grievance hearing for New Orleans Saints TE Jimmy Graham will resume Wednesday, June 18. A verdict is expected within five to seven days.
Huddle Up: The last time a similar situation occurred, the Ravens and Terrell Suggs reached an agreement before any formal decision regarding his position was rendered. So there's a week or so for Graham and the Saints to find common ground before the decision is taken out of their hands.

Mark Ingram - RB Posted 6/5/14 10:30pm et
New Orleans Saints RB Mark Ingram said he is more motivated after the team declined to pick up his fifth-year option this offseason. 'Like they said, they really like me as a player,' Ingram said. 'Just the (salary) number was a little high for what a running back gets on the free-agent market.'
Huddle Up: In order to make any sort of statement, Ingram will need the increased touches to do so in the Saints' perennial RBBC, and he just may get them -- particularly rushes -- with Darren Sproles now gone and Pierre Thomas likely being asked to fill that role and catch more passes out of the backfield.

Jonathan Vilma - LB Posted 5/28/14 11:27am et
With Dallas Cowboys LB Sean Lee (knee) likely out for the season, the team will likely turn to either LBs Justin Durant, DeVonte Holloman or rookie Anthony Hitchens. The team also might investigate the free-agent market which includes LBs Dan Connor (Panthers), Erin Henderson (Vikings) and Jonathan Vilma (Saints).
Huddle Up: If there's a silver lining, it's that the injury happened early so the Cowboys have time to make the necessary adjustments.

Drew Brees - QB Posted 5/22/14 10:41pm et
New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees, 35, isn't ruling out playing into his 40s, as long as he is healthy and playing at a high level. Brees is entering his 14th NFL season, and his current contract with the Saints runs through the 2016 season.
Huddle Up: Brees isn't a running QB who's taken a lot of punishment through the years, so there's no reason he shouldn't have at least 3 more elite seasons left in him. New toys, such as speedy first-round WR pick Brandin Cooks, will help keep Brees feeling rejuvenated.

Brandin Cooks - WR Posted 5/18/14 6:05pm et
The New Orleans Saints signed first-round pick WR Brandin Cooks to a 4-year deal.
Huddle Up: Cooks brings a speed element to the Saints' offense that figures to help open things up underneath for TE Jimmy Graham and WR Marques Colston and put more pressure on opposing defenses who didn't already have enough to worry about.

Jimmy Graham - TE Posted 5/11/14 6:55pm et
New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis said he believes the grievance hearing for TE Jimmy Graham will occur in about a month.
Huddle Up: If this saga has seemingly dragged on all offseason, it's because it has. Still it doesn't mean that Graham has any better chance of winning his grievance and being declared a WR. Look for him to be playing -- and playing spectacularly well -- under the TE franchise tag this fall.

Brandin Cooks - WR Posted 5/8/14 11:07pm et
The New Orleans Saints selected Oregon State WR Brandin Cooks with the 20th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Huddle Up: Cooks was the fourth WR selected in 2014 draft, but he was the fastest with his 4.3 speed, and the Saints jumped at the chance to land the Pac-12 playmaker, trading up 7 spots in a deal with the Cardinals. This will help ensure Drew Brees retains his place among the top handful of fantasy QBs.

Mark Ingram - RB Posted 5/5/14 12:23am et
The New Orleans Saints decided not to pick up the fifth-year option in RB Mark Ingram's contract.
Huddle Up: Ingram, who has only 1,462 rushing yards in 3 seasons, has been unable to distinguish himself in the Saints' crowded backfield and it's certainly worthy of another year of first-round RB $$$.

Mark Ingram - RB Posted 4/24/14 1:08am et
New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton said the team has not made a final decision on whether to pick up the fifth-year option in RB Mark Ingram's contract and that they have more time before making a decision.
Huddle Up: Whether or not the Saints extend Ingram's contract could provide a clue as to just how much they intend to use him in their new Darren Sproles-less backfield.

Jimmy Graham - TE Posted 4/24/14 1:08am et
New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton indicated franchise free-agent TE Jimmy Graham likely will not participate in offseason workouts because of his contract situation.
Huddle Up: No surprise here, though fantasy owners would like to see Graham back catching passes from Drew Brees well in advance of fantasy draft day. Early August will do just fine in that regard.

Robert Meachem - WR Posted 4/18/14 1:45pm et
The New Orleans Saints re-signed WR Robert Meachem to a one-year deal Friday, April 18. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Huddle Up: Meachem hasn't quite lived up to his first-round status, but any member of Drew Brees' receiver rotation has a shot at fantasy success; just don't bank on consistency.

Parys Haralson - LB Posted 4/1/14 8:37pm et
The New Orleans Saints agreed to terms on an undisclosed one-year deal to re-sign LB Parys Haralson on Tuesday, April 1.
Huddle Up: Haralson had 31 tackles in 8 starts this past season, and figures to be a primary backup with Victor Butler expected back after missing 2013 with an injury.

Travaris Cadet - RB Posted 3/25/14 10:31pm et
New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton said Tuesday, March 25, that RB Travaris Cadet could take on 'a little more of that role' that RB Darren Sproles played in the team's offense over the past three seasons.
Huddle Up: Cadet, who's been limited to 7 receptions and 1 rushing attempt in 2 pro seasons so far, is sure to crop up on a few sleeper lists given his promotion in the Saints' potent offense, but don't forget he still shares the backfield with Pierre Thomas, Mark Ingram and Khiry Robinson.

Erik Lorig - RB Posted 3/19/14 12:36pm et
Updating a previous report, the four-year deal between the New Orleans Saints and FB Erik Lorig is good for $4.8 million, with a $1 million signing bonus. His base salaries are for $750,000 in both 2014 and 2015, with $900,000 base salaries in 2016 and 2017. He also gets a $50,000 annual workout bonus.
Huddle Up: Long steps into the touchdown vulture role vacated by the departure of fellow fullback Jed Collins.

Joseph Morgan - WR Posted 3/18/14 10:47pm et
The New Orleans Saints re-signed WR Joe Morgan to an undisclosed 1-year deal Tuesday, March 18.
Huddle Up: Morgan missed the entire 2013 season because of a torn ACL, and many fantasy GMs may have forgotten the big-play flashes he showed in 2012 when he averaged 37.9 yards per catch and scored 3 TDs on 10 receptions.

Jairus Byrd - S Posted 3/11/14 10:50pm et
The New Orleans Saints on Tuesday, March 11 signed FS Jairus Byrd to a 6-year contract worth $54 million, with $28 million in guaranteed money, according to a source.
Huddle Up: As expected, Byrd struck it big in free agency, signing with the Saints, whose defense took big strides in 2013 after 2012's disaster. Byrd spent his first 5 NFL seasons in Buffalo, where he racked up the second-most interceptions (22) in the league during that span.

Darren Sproles - RB Posted 3/11/14 10:50pm et
Updating a previous report, New Orleans Saints RB Darren Sproles said on NFL Network on Tuesday, March 11, that he has received interest from more than 10 teams. The Saints have not released him yet, and are hoping to work out a trade.
Huddle Up: The Saints are playing it smart in trying to get something for the soon-to-be 31-year-old RB whose yards-from-scrimmage and TD totals have decreased in each of his 3 seasons in the Big Easy.

Mark Ingram - RB Posted 3/10/14 2:13pm et
New Orleans Saints RB Mark Ingram has expressed mixed feelings about the cuts made by the team over the last several days, but he understands these cuts could lead to a bigger role for him in the offense. 'It's crazy to think about, and it's shocking with everything going on. But it's just the business side of everything. Those guys in the front office are doing what they think is best to have success this year,' Ingram said.
Huddle Up: Fewer backs in the Saints backfield would in theory give Ingram more of an opportunity, but he's not an every-down back in Sean Payton's system so he'll still be sharing the workload.

Jed Collins - RB Posted 3/7/14 10:14am et
The New Orleans Saints may not tender offers to restricted free-agent FB Jed Collins and WR Joe Morgan, because they likely are not willing to pay them $1.4 million next season.
Huddle Up: The Saints have demonstrated the ability to plug in just about anyone into Drew Brees' offense and have success, so don't look for them to overpay for a fullback and a tertiary receiver.

Darren Sproles - RB Posted 3/7/14 11:22pm et
The New Orleans Saints will cut RB Darren Sproles, according to a source.
Huddle Up: Sproles wasn't used nearly as much--or as effectively--as a pass-catcher this season, and with the Saints having a stable of backs to choose from it's no surprise they are opting to give Sproles the boot.

Pierre Thomas - RB Posted 3/6/14 8:03pm et
The New Orleans Saints are shopping RB Pierre Thomas to other teams, per league sources.
Huddle Up: Could it be that the Saints want to pare down their long-standing RBBC? Thomas will turn 30 this coming December, and is coming off the second-best total-yardage season (1,062) in his 7-year career.

Jimmy Graham - TE Posted 3/4/14 12:28am et
New Orleans Saints franchise free-agent TE Jimmy Graham was officially tagged as a tight end.
Huddle Up: Graham has already indicated he won't report until his contract situation is resolved, and the Saints have demonstrated in the past that they won't necessarily move quickly just because Graham is a marquee player (see how they dragged their feet with Drew Brees, for example). So no reason to think this situation will be resolved any time soon.

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