You know what, I think I can get on board with this. I've made clear the quickness with which I roll my eyes when a '28-3' joke is made. It's a make-or-break year in New Orleans, and I am much more concerned with making sure this recurring 7-9 nightmare isn't actually a curse in disguise. So no, I don't particularly care that the Falcons spent billions of dollars on a retractable anus that is too constipated to work properly, or that they accidentally trolled the tastebuds of the few fans whose voices aren't artificial piped in by putting an inoperable Chuck-Fil-A on their own damn concourse. The Saints are going to need to prove to me that they - themselves - aren't a laughing stock before I turn to the futility of the franchise that appears to be ripe for a Super Bowl hangover as a source of humor.
That said, if you can effortlessly fit a joke about your rival's historical incompetence into your everyday life then you almost have to do it, right? Knowing Atlanta, this server was probably not only below average, but also didn't give a damn about the Falcons. That's why turning her slightly sub-20% tip into a gratuitous joke at the expense of her hometown comes off as more situationally aware than comically incompetent. You start reaching for half-ironic placements of the numbers 28, 3, or 25 and you show your lack of wit pretty quickly. However, if you are put in a position where you absolutely have to do math then it might as well add up to the demise of Matt Ryan.
Delvin Breaux's "Contusion" Was Actually A Fractured Fibula, And The Saints Have Finally Fired Members Of Their Medical Staff
First, the bad news. A team that has a notoriously crappy defense and has started slower than a '79 Buick the last few seasons will be without it's long-presumed starting cornerback during what appears to be the most difficult stretch of their schedule. The fact that he was reportedly being shopped no longer matters, because now someone that was (somewhat pathetically) one of the most proven members of the secondary won't be able to contribute by play or by exchange for at least a month. I thought that moving Delvin Breaux for an inevitable underpayment would have been a huge mistake, and that's because - when healthy - he's exponentially more valuable to the Saints than he is anyone else. This injury news makes a trade that seemed unlikely (if not stupid) anyway an impossibility, but it also leaves a gapping hole on the outside of defense that will never not need improvement.
Now, the good news. Delvin Breaux is - in fact - not a baby back bitch that can't play through a bruise, and the two weeks he has spent not healing from a fractured fibula ultimately got a medical staff that is historically delayed (if not incompetent) in diagnosing injuries (i.e. doing their fucking job) canned for good. I highly doubt that adding some new orthopedists can hamstring Brandin Cooks from stretching the field come Week 2, but if they aren't illiterate when it comes to reading an x-ray then they will be a welcomed addition to the organization in the long term.
It's a massive failure - on so, so many levels - that a franchise whose locker room has seemed eternally invested by the injury bug was employing doctors that made Doogie Howser look deserving of his M.D. I don't know how many man games were unnecessarily lost or how careers were careened due to at least minimal malpractice over the years. I do know that I feel more comfortable knowing that someone other than Delvin Breaux lost their fucking job when the black-and-blue that had his coaches questioning his toughness and his front office questioning his trade value was really a broken bone. Players that were put in Keenan Lewis' position (see below) could potentially see it differently, but - goddamn it - better late than never...
As If The Saints' Defense Wasn't Already Concerning Enough, Delvin Breaux Is Reportedly On The Trading Block
I guess my question isn't so much "why?" as much as it is "why now?".
Look no further than the handling of Jimmy Graham and Brandin Cooks for proof that the Saints - specifically under Sean Payton - have been quick to pull the trigger in moving talented players that they deem expendable. I can see why they'd think a 27 year old cornerback with an extensive history of serious injuries whose value likely isn't going to get any higher than it did following his breakout season would fit that bill.
Unfortunately, the Saints' shouldn't feel anywhere near as inclined to pass the buck on anyone that is making an affordable buck to adequately defend the pass. I understand the franchise's frustration with Delvin Breaux having mostly seen the field from the sidelines for the last year and change, but the cusp of a make-or-break for the organization might not be the best time to move one of the most proven (although that's not exactly saying much) commodities in the secondary. Without even factoring the lack of leverage that you have when moving a player - out of the clear blue - this close to the season, the fact that said player plays a position that his current team tried desperately to address mere months ago makes this hypothetical trade one that is unlikely to work out in New Orleans' favor.
Considering Delvin Breaux is a guy who damn near lost his life on a football field, there's probably a pretty significant chance that he's hesitant (and rightfully so) to play at anything notably less than 100%. That's undoubtedly not going to sit well with those held responsible for fielding a competitive team in a sport that undeniably requires you to overcome some bumps and bruises. In theory, anyone that they could get in exchange would be an upgrade over Delvin Breaux if Delvin Breaux isn't going to be active on most Sundays, but - in theory - the Saints' cornerbacks are much deeper than they actually are without him even potentially being in the lineup.
At the time, I didn't take umbrage with the Saints' decision to keep their picks instead of trading for an established veteran in Malcolm Butler. However, if potentially erasing someone who was penciled in as a starting cornerback is something that has been weighing on their mind for awhile now then they have made themselves insanely vulnerable to looking very stupid. If this news is more of a foreshadowing than a mere possibility then they are depending on Marshon Lattimore (who is busy dealing with his own health issues) to set the curve instead of taking the time a rookie generally needs to learn it. They would be expecting P.J. Williams to kick the injury bug that has cost him the vast majority of his early career. The performance of what has been a woefully anemic defense could fall heavily on the shoulders of two undrafted free agents - in Ken Crawley and De'Vante Harris - who have yet to prove that impressive offseasons can translate during the regular season.
Simply put, if Delvin Breaux is in another jersey come September and he doesn't fetch someone that can play press, man-to-man defense in return then there's a whole hell of a lot more than could go painfully wrong on one particular side of the ball. For a defense that has been operating under Murphy's Law for the last handful of seasons, that's not exactly something that breeds optimism.
One. Just one. One meaningless victory out of four meaningless contests is all I ask. I don't care that it didn't come against the lowly Cleveland Browns, but - at this point - the New Orleans Saints just need to win a single preseason game to prove that they are still capable of doing so. The results may still be a month away from mattering, but the psyche of a fanbase that has seen it's team lose every single game played in August over the last two offseasons most certainly is not. I don't know if the deja-vu of being 0-4 in glorified practice sessions whose true winner is determined by which team comes away healthier is something that will haunt this team, but I'll be damned if it won't weigh on those with a vested interest in them.
At the end of the day, I truly don't give a shit that the Saints lost to a bad team on a deep pass to a white wide receiver that cleanly beat a porous defensive effort for a late, game winning touchdown. The list of things that matter exponentially more than a victory that would be nothing but moral is as follows...
- Their rookie class (or the portion of it that was actually able to play) - led by Alvin Kamara - collectively put forth an admirable effort.
- Their first string defense held a first string offense - albeit one with a second rate quarterback - to virtually nothing.
- Their receiving core continued to prove that it's shockingly deep (shoutout to Tommy Lee Lewis) without Brandin Cooks.
- The oft-questioned pass rush looked above average, and also highlighted the impressive resurgence of a guy whose recurrent ACL issues have lowered expectations in Hau'oli Kikaha.
All those things are far more important than the outcome of a game that Drew Brees, Cameron Jordan, Mark Ingram, and Adrian Peterson casually watched - in it's entirety - from the sidelines. Still, for the love of all that is holy, I'm going to need this potentially false optimism to result in something better than a winless preseason. If only to show me that this year is at least mildly different before recent history has me thinking that some practice games are a precursor to yet another depressing 7-9 season.
P.S. I would NOT want to be the one held responsible for making cuts at the wide receiver position...
Pretty Sure The Saints Only Listed Mark Ingram And Adrian Peterson As Co-Starters To Troll Their Own Fans
Why? Just...why? Was getting recognized as a starter regardless of his performance one of the dozens of incentives included in Adrian Peterson's contract? Did the Saints take note that Mark Ingram played his best game of season after being sat for Tim Hightower last year, and wanted to pressure him into coming out of the gates with a chip on his shoulder this season? Those are literally the only two reasons I can think of for listing the incumbent 1,000 yard runner who has been the standout back at training camp and the 32 year old shot in the dark who has only gotten limited looks as equals.
Now, I know that preseason depth charts mean less than nothing and I have been watching Sean Payton's offense for about a decade longer than is necessary to realize that the "starter" label is about as loose as his commitment to running the football. That's why I really have to question why the most impassioned hater of stupid questions basically begged to be asked more stupid questions by making it seem like the fictional running back race was at a dead heat.
As if overreactive fans didn't have enough to argue about after seeing seeing Ken Crawley and P.J. Williams listed as starting corners, now it will be impossible to avoid the bickering about a position that will be fluent when the season starts anyway. Great, can't wait to read - for the umpteenth time - why Mark Ingram can't be your lead back despite having numbers that show the exact opposite. Definitely looking forward to seeing someone claim that Adrian Peterson hasn't shown enough to earn his workload before we even has a workload to worry about. Ultimately it doesn't matter, because - if healthy - both will get their due touches, but Sean Payton should keep in mind that some of us have to wade through the internet riff raff when he unnecessarily creates fake controversies.
Drew Brees was asked about his apparent frustration after safety Kenny Vaccaro knocked the ball out of his hand in full-team drills (players aren't allowed to hit the QB):
"That happened a few times in that period. You know, listen, it was competitive. It was a third-down period, so you're keeping score, it's competitive. (But) obviously you have rules for safety purposes, you don't want guys hitting your arm when you're throwing. That's not smart. That's not safe. So when it happens, you know, I mean, I understand it's going to happen from time to time, which it did. So, whatever. You move on."
(h/t Mike Triplett)
I can't believe I am going to say this, but - as long as he still has a clean bill of health - I would prefer if every practice from now until September culminated with Drew Brees getting pissy with his own defense. At the risk of encouraging a contentious locker room, this clip right here is the only type of dissension that could mean better days are ahead for this team.
Now, that doesn't mean that I want defensive linemen teeing off on a franchise quarterback whose arm serves as the Saints' only hope of getting over that haunting 7-9 hump. It does, however, mean that a franchise quarterback that overreacts purely out of frustration must be facing a defense that's doing something right. I wasn't on the practice field so I don't know if that stare down was the result of multiple acts of unnecessary roughness, but I do know that the play that inevitably caused it was one of the cleanest strips I recall seeing from a unit that has seemingly sabotaged this franchise since it's Super Bowl. You can usually catch Kenny Vaccaro walking the thin line of what's allowable, but - for the first time maybe ever - a Saints' defensive player had Drew Brees looking like he was the one in the wrong.
If the pressure from a team whose biggest concern is it's pass rush is what has it's usually mild mannered offensive leader jawing with it's most boisterous defensive player following a relatively harmless forced fumble then that argument should be viewed as a product of this team improving. Not too many defenses have gotten under the skin of a quarterback who is historically unflappable, so it's a good sign if the one he's spent the last few seasons cursing under his breathe finally gets in his head for the right reasons. Especially since there's not a Saints' fan on the planet that has offense anywhere near the top of their list of worries.
Following Their Coaches' Lead, The Saints Receivers And Defensive Backs Spent The Day Chirping Each Other
Swagger? Cockiness? Who the hell are those guys in the black jerseys, and what the hell has Defensive Backs Coach Aaron Glenn done with the New Orleans Saints' actual secondary?
Look, I don't know if being encouraged to spike the ball right in the offense's stupid face after pass breakups is the motivation the defense needs to do to inject some confidence into their game, but I'll be damned if I'm not enjoying the intensity being displayed on both sides of the ball nonetheless. Curtis Johnson all-too-predictably already has a group of receivers that were a bit of a question mark as of a week ago outperforming expectations. If stopping them requires a little shit talking and some unsportsmanlike braggadocio then all the power to the corners and safeties whose improvement is absolutely necessary if the Saints want to be worth a damn this season.
Honestly, I can't tell which position group is benefiting more from the definitive, conscious effort to spark the competitive flames. However, I can say it's making for some entertaining clips that are nothing but encouraging to a fanbase that has become far too accustomed to watching defensive backs hang their heads in shame after failing to turn them the fuck around to locate the ball. The only thing that's more fun than a good chirp is earning the right to use it, and it appears that's exactly the mindset that Aaron Glenn is passionately trying to instill in his unit.
P.S. Michael Thomas...still very, very good...
A New Orleans-Based T-Shirt Company Is Planning On Sponsoring a '28-3' Billboard In The City Of Atlanta
Uproxx- However, that won’t be the case thanks to some very petty Saints fans. New Orleans and Atlanta have the biggest professional football rivalry south of the Mason-Dixon line, and the failures of the other team bring about as much joy to fans as their own teams’ successes. So, it should come as no surprise that it would be a group of Saints fans plan on purchasing a billboard near the new Falcons stadium that will prominently display the 28-3 score that is so seared into Falcons fans’ minds.
It’s a simple billboard, as you can see from their rendering from Dirty Coast, a T-shirt company based out of New Orleans that is leading the effort to put up the billboard — and is selling t-shirts with the same 28-3 design. They have apparently managed to find a billboard company willing to sell it to them in Atlanta, at the cost of $1,000 a week, and they’re taking $10 donations from Saints fans to keep it up for as long as they can to ensure that the pain doesn’t go away any time soon.
Full disclosure? Even as a devout hater of all things associated with the Atlanta Falcons, I must begrudgingly admit that I have already grown weary of the '28-3' jokes. It's disappointing, because losing a Super Bowl in which you led by TWENTY-FIVE points with 2:12 in the third quarter requires such a historically apocalyptic collapse that no rival fan should ever find himself (or herself) immune to it's hilarity. Unfortunately, the internet knows no bounds when it comes to beating a horse as dead as what now lies behind Matt Ryan's eyes, so I am stuck with that "enough already" feeling every time someone acknowledges an ironic placement of the number 25.
That being said, I am so in favor of this billboard that I might even break out the credit card and follow through on contributing to a good cause instead of just saying "I promise I'll do it later" for months on end. As if the Atlanta Falcons aren't already at risk of succumbing to a Super Bowl hangover that would have Frank Gallagher feeling shameful. Can you imagine having to drive by the memory of your worst nightmare coming to fruition on a daily basis all because a local billboard company sold you out for a measly $1,000/week?!?
Never mind the humor angle. This bad boy needs to stay up all season just to remind Atlanta that they are an inferior sports city that will inevitably need to pipe artificial crowd noise into their obnoxious new stadium - that was built on the strength of their 'Napoleon's Complex' - just to make it look like their fans give a shit. I'm willing to sacrifice the eyes that will undoubtedly roll back into my head forever the next time I hear a played out "get it...25" reference just to kick the organization whose failure it mocks while they are down. At this point in the offseason I'm more concerned with the Saints' success than the Falcons failures, but - shit - why not donate on the off-chance I get both while literally and figuratively holding it over the heads of Atlanta's half-assed fans?
As much as I feel bad for the guy that opened up training camp with a 5 interception performance that forced his team to dumb down their playbook before they even managed to work their way onto page two, Cam Jordan isn't wrong. I'm not sure a comparison was necessary to highlight something as obvious as the fact that going against Drew Brees everyday is a huge challenge that can only benefit a defense. However, if you're going to take unprovoked shots at someone then it might as well be a guy who certainly has more to worry about than the opinion of a defensive lineman on a non-conference opponent. I haven't been paying all that much attention to Jaguars' camp, but I would imagine that Blake Bortles is pretty numb to the pain of his reality by now. Personally, I pity him enough to lay off, but if Cam Jordan felt he needed to throw an unsolicited jab to solidify his point then why not target the league's proverbial punching bag? Seems unnecessary to me, but as long as it was meant to compliment a performance on the particular side of the ball that gives New Orleans' fans nightmares then it's fine by me.
The fact of the matter is that the Saints defense - on all levels - pressured, frustrated, and picked off a future 'Hall Of Famer' damn near all day today, and they did so without the help of two of their top three corners. They'll be able to sleep well tonight knowing it wasn't a product of facing a quarterback that has a history of turning footwear into a turnover hazard...
TheAdvocate- Adrian Peterson's wife sent him a text message with a link to NFL.com a few days ago.
Peterson's jersey, the No. 28 he's now wearing for the New Orleans Saints, is the top-selling jersey in the state of Minnesota right now.
"My fan base there is still strong, so it'll be good to get back out in front of them," Peterson said. "It shows that I was appreciated, which I knew, but that's just confirmation."
New Orleans opens the season on Sept. 11, a Monday night game against the Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium, in front of the fans that have loved him for a decade.
Peterson has caught himself thinking about that game.
"A little bit," Peterson said. "Just to kind of get back and see some familiar faces, play in front of the fans I played in front of for 10 years, that'll be pretty outstanding."
Being a fan of literally any sports team is all about finding glimmers of hope. That hope might be as fleeting as the excitement felt by someone whose metal detector goes off on the beach only for them to find out they've uncovered a balled up sheet of tin foil covered in seagull shit instead of some buried treasure, but in the moment even the most blind of optimism is comforting.
The following isn't an indictment of how Saints training camp has gone so far, because reports have actually been eerily positive. However, there aren't fans that are more in need of a reason to believe this year could begin differently than those that have begun to feel like there is some deja-voodoo working to make a lackluster start and a 7-9 finish their own hellish, season-long version of 'Groundhog's Day'. The team that lost their second best pass rusher and their starting left tackle for extended periods of time before one whistle even blew could probably benefit from a little false machismo. What better to provide it than knowing the stadium they will be visiting to start the year is full of fans that are currently out buying up all the jerseys of their opponent's backup running back?!?
I am not dumb enough to truly believe that merchandise sales can have a tangible effect on the laundry list of intangibles that go into winning a professional football game (or at least I'm not dumb enough to put it in writing). I'm also aware that Adrian Peterson's Saints jersey doesn't have much competition due to the fact that rocking a Sam Bradford jersey is about as "cool" as the sleeves that have become an iconic representation of his lack of swag. The confidence boost I got from envisioning a little black & gold popping out of every closet in the greater Minneapolis area might get chop-blocked through the turf as soon as the ball gets kicked off. That said, for now it's making me feel better about New Orleans' chances of rewriting recent history and not falling to 0-1 with the reigning Super Bowl champs coming into town on 10 days rest...even if those chances are realistically higher than I want to admit.
In a super depressing way, this is oddly poetic. I don't want to make light of a player's never-ending battle with his own body to stay on the field, because Danell Ellerbe showed flashes of greatness (relative to the piss poor defense he was a part of) during the fleeting moments in which he wasn't injured. However, I would simply be ignoring the irony if I didn't point out how fitting it was for his last days as a New Orleans Saint to play out with him physically unable to contribute a damn thing to the New Orleans Saints.
Due to no fault of his own (other than questionable genetics), Danell Ellerbe basically strung along an entire franchise and their fanbase. He led them (i.e. us) on with an unspoken promise of better days being ahead when he proved capable of defending the pass and rushing the passer, and left us standing their unfulfilled when his name inevitably popped up on the injury report just three days later. Knowing the Saints' luck/medical staff, some team will scoop him off the waiver wire and he'll magically become more durable than 'Deadpool'. Until that day comes, my skepticism about whether or not 6-8 games of Danell Ellerbe is better than 16 games of the 53rd man on the roster is temporarily quelled by freeing myself of the bi-weekly stress of wondering when those 6-8 games were going to come. Plus, if the goal was to find some defensive consistency then this was simply a move that had to be made.
Now, I certainly hope that Sean Payton's optimism about the additions the team made over the offseason played a large part in the decision to cut ties with Danell Ellerbe. Given his track record, I'm not sure his positivity and confidence means all that much. That said, he damn well better have at least seen the makings of a solid, yet unspectacular linebacking core before he preemptively cut potentially the most skilled person in it. If nothing else, this puts more pressure on players like A.J. Klein and Manti Te'o to make seamless transitions into a new system and players like Craig Robertson and Nate Stupar to build on fairly promising seasons, because the Saints damn sure didn't have enough proven talent last year to risk losing even the most unreliable of talent this year.
I suppose this doesn't come as much of a surprise. I don't care how many opinions you get. If even one medical professional - out of who knows how many - tells you that football could cost you your life then that's probably the doctor whose word you should heed.
That said, the fact that Nick Fairley is making the smartest decision for himself and his family doesn't make this announcement any less sad and depressing. The most disappointing aspect is that a guy who was just starting to fulfill the endless potential that got him drafted in the first round may never play another down of football again. I can't imagine what he's going through knowing that he may be coming off his best season to date and potentially going straight into a forced retirement.
From a much more cold-hearted perspective, this news has to considered proof positive that Murphy's Law gets called into action whenever the New Orleans Saints start shopping the free agency market. For once, they did everything right this time around. They let a talented player earn his money on a one year, "prove it" deal. They gave him a reasonable contract that wouldn't handicap them going forward. Annnnd a previously dormant/misdiagnosed heart condition almost immediately called the rest of his career into question before he even got to pull a black and gold jersey over his head one final time.
There's just no around it. This sucks for all parties involved. It should be heavily emphasized that none the least of which is the player whose health has been compromised, but I'll be damned if it doesn't serve as a gut punch to the defensive depth of team that was depending on Nick Fairley to provide the pass rush that they sorely lack opposite Cam Jordan.
Cam Jordan Thinks The Saints Are Ready To Win Now, And I'd Be Pretty Concerned If He Felt Differently
PFT- While speaking with Greg Bishop of The MMQB, Saints defensive end Cam Jordan said the team is thinking Super Bowl.
“We’re building a team to win a Super Bowl,” Jordan said. “We’re not building for the future. It’s hard not to believe in our team. We’re ready to win it now.”
Plenty of teams feel like Super Bowl contenders entering a new season, but only one will be crowned the champion. And although Jordan feels confident, he knows the way the Saints have played in recent years is not going to cut it.
“Well, we finished the last three seasons 7-9 and our defense was in the mid-20s,” he said. “That’s not where we want to be. Last time we were a top-five defense we made the playoffs [2013, defense ranked fourth]. That’s what we want to be.”
As much as I like hearing the Saints most accomplished and trustworthy defensive player speak confidently about his team's Super Bowl aspirations, I would be lying if I understood why it was even remotely newsworthy. I know New Orleans has finished 7-9 in each of the last three seasons, but I hardly consider (potentially blind) optimism and faith from a proud professional athlete to be deserving of it's own headline. I guess I am glad that Cam Jordan doesn't think his defense is still a complete sieve that is going to sabotage the final years of Drew Brees' illustrious career, but it would probably be a hell of a lot better for clicks if he did.
I think it's pretty obvious that the Saints believe their championship window is now. It might just barely remain cracked open on the strength of a 'Hall Of Fame' arm, but it's no secret that every move that has been made with the immediate future in mind. That is, unless you believe Adrian Peterson is going to touting the rock until his early 40's and Drew Brees is going to be the one handing it off to him from a wheelchair. Whether the organization has done a good enough job in restocking the defense remains to be seen, but it should be evident that their primary focus over the offseason wasn't in building an 8-8 team that could continue to waste the talents of a top 3-5 player at the most important position. I'm glad Cam Jordan knows that, but I find a bit disconcerting that literally anyone wouldn't.
If for no other reason than the dark side being a sad, lonely place underneath my pillow that I'd rather not visit on a Friday afternoon, let's look on the bright side here.
For starters, the Saints' all-too-important draft grade just got bumped up a couple of letters. I don't think I was the only one that was skeptical about selecting an offensive lineman in the first round when there were still so many holes on defense, but - if grading on the inevitable injury curve - it appears they really aced that Ryan Ramcyzk pick. As is par for the course he's also on the mend, but that might be a good thing with how many substantial pieces to the puzzle have dropped before pads have been put on.
Obviously I would rather the Saints have their starting Pro Bowl-caliber left tackle protecting Drew Brees' blindside during this extremely telling upcoming season. However, proving the draft pundits wrong while avoiding the uncertainly of the weekly "will he, won't he" that's seemingly been Terron Armstead's playing status since he came into the league is quite the (depressing) consolation prize.
In all seriousness though, this is awful news. Did the Saints forget to exterminate team facilities over the offseason? How is that goddamn injury bug still biting this team? When will the epidemic end? First Max Unger mysteriously finds out his foot needs operating on after months in which it could have been recovering. Then Nick Fairley's dormant heart condition seemingly arises as the ink dries on his long term contract. Now Terron Amstead - an athletic anomaly whose sky-high potentially is ironically being limited by his own freakish body - needs (potentially season ending) shoulder surgery after taking part in non-strenuous workouts in which he had absolutely nothing to prove? What the hell is going to happen when this professional tackle football team actually starts playing professional tackle football?
Now, the good thing about the Saints' depth getting put to the test is that - for the first time in a long time - they might actually have some. I just really, really wish they would reach the part of training camp where they are actually playing a contact sport at a high level before having to absorb brutal, detrimental blows to it. Make no mistake, losing Terron Armstead is just that.
Saints Superfan Jarrius Robertson Has Been Selected As The Recipient Of 'The Jimmy V Perseverance Award'
You know what, not only is Jarrius Robertson a worthy recipient of 'The Jimmy V Perseverance Award', but he's a necessary recipient of 'The Jimmy V Perseverance Award'. That's not to say the 15 year old with a personality that is charming and hilarious beyond it's years needs the recognition, but the fact that he is in the midst of overcoming a potentially fatal liver ailment absolutely does. With how enthusiastic he is about life it becomes easy to forget that it hasn't exactly dealt him the best hand. With one follow on social media you'd think he were everywhere at all times, and that does a bit of a disservice to the battle that had him resigned to a hospital bed following an organ transplant just a few short weeks ago.
If persevering is defined by staying the course despite tough circumstances then no one personifies it more than the kid whose unconditional happiness would have you believing that he's healthier than all of us. The trials and tribulations he's faced since birth are literally only on display when he's furthering the cause to put them in the rearview. Having witnessed him light up the room so many times before, there's little to no doubt that Jarrius Robertson's sense of humor is going to leave an entire amphitheater feeling more alive than ever before. It took a life to save his, and he's used it to inspire everyone he comes in contact with. If that's not the mark of a person who has got enough fire in his belly to carry such a prestigious torch then I don't know what is...
PFT- Adrian Peterson insists he’s a better receiver than the numbers suggest. In his 10 seasons in Minnesota, the running back averaged only two catches and 15.8 yards per game.
“It’s always funny to me because I’ve been playing this game since I was 7, and a lot of people say, ‘Well, he can’t catch the ball,'” Peterson said, Josh Katzenstein of the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “I’ve been playing since I was 7 years old. I can catch a football.”
Peterson said he wasn’t a better receiver with the Vikings because that wasn’t something they asked of him. But his two most productive seasons as a receiver came with Brett Favre at quarterback. Peterson had 43 catches for 436 yards in 2009 and 36 catches for 341 yards in 2010.
“It’s all about having a guy that’s going to get the ball to you, and without a doubt I know (Drew) Brees is going to,” Peterson said. “We’ll be doing that.”
EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT!
The man who could walk off the football field in five minutes as a future 'Hall Of Famer' after terrifying every single defense he's ever faced since he was a child can - indeed - catch a football! The physical specimen who is known for having such a large, powerful grip that it could bring the most calloused of men to their knees with one causal greeting is also capable of putting those hands together to stop some inflated leather from succumbing to gravity! Who knew?!
Imagine if the other 31 teams that didn't sign a freakishly athletic, unvalued runner were aware that runner could also catch? Man, the New Orleans Saints really have to feel blessed to have picked him up for a reasonable price before the rest of league realized that a guy who has shunned modern science to fully recover in record time from multiple disastrous injuries also had elementary hand-eye coordination!
Here I was thinking that every mini-camp story was completely useless conjecture, and - BOOM! - all the sudden I find out that Adrian Peterson doesn't need the ball delivered directly into his torso to be effective! Well, ne-ver-mind. In fact, get some more media down to the practice field. Can never be too sure when the next generational, professional athlete might break a story about his hidden talent of doing the something most people are taught before they reach the age of 5.
Nick Fairley Is Dealing With A Career Threatening Heart Condition...And The Curse Of Saints' Free Agency
When I first saw this report I instinctually laughed. Clearly there's nothing funny about Nick Fairley having a potentially career threatening condition within the organ that literally pumps life through his body, but sometimes you just have to laugh to keep from crying. Seriously, will the ghosts of dead money ever stop haunting the New Orleans' offseason acquisitions? The Saints finally took a shot on a player with a questionable past and managed to retain that player's services at a reasonable price after that shot hit the bullseye, and it might still result in the continuation of a long, long line of free agency faux pas?!
I know that Nick Fairley has apparently had this heart issue for some time now, but what satanic, VooDoo-esque forces have to working against this organization for it to pop back up almost immediately after he signed a relatively lucrative 4 year deal? Financial security at the all-too-generous hands of the Saints' front office is dangerously close to being considered a warning sign of impending health problems. Jairus Byrd, C.J. Spiller, and now possibly Nick Fairley? It's as if the check and the bill of health are physically incapable of clearing at the same time. Now, this could obviously subside, and - even if it doesn't - the resurgent defensive tackle's livelihood is undoubtedly the main concern. Still, the fact that even the shrewdest and seemingly smartest of moves might also bite this franchise in the ass is a sign that Murphy's Law governs the court of public opinion when it comes to their personnel decisions.
ESPN- Here is the full breakdown of Peterson’s contract:
Signing bonus: $2.5 million
2017: $1 million base salary (fully guaranteed).
2018: $1.05 million base salary. $750,000 roster bonus due on third day of league year. $50,000 workout bonus. Up to $1.25 million in weekly roster bonuses for every week spent on the 53-man roster, injured reserve or physically-unable-to-perform list. Up to $400,000 in additional per-game roster bonuses for every game on the active 46-man roster.
Incentives in 2017 and 2018: Up to $8.25 million in total (see breakdown below).
Rushing yard incentives: $150,000 for 750 rushing yards OR $250,000 for 1,000 rushing yards OR $750,000 for 1,250 rushing yards OR $1 million for 1,500 rushing yards.
Note: If Peterson reaches any of those incentives in 2017, his 2018 weekly roster bonus total will increase by the same amount.
Touchdown incentives: $250,000 for 6 rushing/receiving touchdowns OR $500,000 for 8 rushing/receiving touchdowns OR $750,000 for 10 rushing/receiving touchdowns IF he also leads the NFL in rushing touchdowns.
Team/player performance incentives: $250,000 if Peterson runs for 750 yards in the regular season AND plays in wild-card or divisional playoff game. OR $500,000 if Peterson runs for 750 yards in the regular season AND plays in conference championship game. OR $1 million if Peterson runs for 750 yards in the regular season AND Saints win Super Bowl.
The maximum Peterson can earn if he hits every incentive (including those 1,500-yard seasons and Super Bowl wins) is $15.25 million over two years.
There are a hell of a lot of numbers floating around up there and I have very little interest in breaking down all the scenarios - of varying unlikelihood - so let's just put it terms that every can understand. Adrian Peterson could potentially earn 15.25 million dollars over the course of the next two years, and if he does so then the New Orleans Saints will be back-to-back Super Bowl Champions having won those games by an average of 25 (sorry not sorry, Falcons fans) points. Unfortunately, it would also make Mark Ingram go from 'happy camper' to Jason Voorhees, but - as long as Drew Brees isn't included in the body count - he would yawn his way to ludicrously efficient numbers that would require a workload that's lighter than Adrian Peterson's baggage.
Now, none of that is coming anywhere close to fruition because 'AD' is 32 years old, coming off a season ending injury, undoubtedly slated at #2 on the depth chart, and more than likely needs to change his nickname to 'Half Day'. Still, it's nice to know that he's incentivized to regain his 'Hall Of Fame' form. If money is the motivation then there should be no shortage of will powering his wheels. You'd be an idiot to let a couple eye-popping incentives that were thrown in to sweeten a deal that was surely humbling effect your expectations, but it's mildly comforting to know that there's more than 3.5 million reasons for the Saints' backup running back to stay on the field and out of Sean Payton's doghouse.
You'd Have To Be An Idiot To Believe There Was Anything To The Mark Ingram For Jason Kelce Trade "Rumor"
LBS- On Wednesday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter told 97.5 The Fanatic that there is “absolutely nothing” to the reports of a potential Ingram-for-Kelce swap.
“There is absolutely nothing to that. There was absolutely never anything to that,” Schefter said, as transcribed by Matt Lombardo of NJ.com. “I spoke to people in both organizations, and they both said the same thing; ‘We’ve never spoken.’ I don’t know where that started. Maybe that would start talks up now, but I doubt it based on those reactions from both organizations. That was never in the works. I don’t want to say it would never happen, because stranger things have happened, but I’m just telling you there is nothing to that as of right now.”
Ahh, the internet - where one random person's thought can be considered a "rumor" that's strong enough that it's denouncement is newsworthy. Max Unger was deemed doubtful to be ready for the start of the regular season for all of about 12 hours (tops), and somehow the Saints had already had extensive talks about trading their starting running back for his replacement. Merely the beginning of May with their center's rehab yet to be underway, and Sean Payton and Mickey Loomis were so desperate for a 2-4 week starter (if that) in the middle of a newly rebuilt offensive line that they put their only proven, versatile rusher on the trading block.
Seems legit. The Saints front office probably hung up to debate the pros and cons and only then did they check to how the surgery that made it thee most remote of possibility went. Nothing fishy about the timing of that "report". You know, unless you factor in that the source carrying it was a "little birdie". Then - and only then - might it begin to stink to the highest of heavens...
NBD, but KBD: Max Unger Could Miss The Beginning Of The Season After A Little Offseason Foot Surgery
Just a little 'good news, bad news' for Saints' fans in early-May. It may be tough for some to see the sunshine beyond the clouds with New Orleans losing the veteran lynchpin of what was looking to be a pretty stout offensive line, but - factually speaking - Max Unger can't get hurt during training camp if he's sitting out training camp. I don't have a PhD so I don't know much about football related injuries, but I know that it's tough to suffer them when you're physically unable to play football. Can't get severely hurt during non-contact drills when you're not participating in non-contact drills. The way I see it, this was a preemptive measure to guarantee Max Unger's health when the games matter the most. Hell, the whole damn team should have snuck in a surgery just to trick the malicious injury bugs into swarming around a different locker room for once. Not sure what prompted this procedure 4 months after last season ended, but - hey - sometimes Spring has to rain on your parade to remind you that brighter days lie ahead. The first IR stint of the offseason was bound to be a depressing one, so it might as well have come when there's still plenty of time for it to heal. Surely it will be tough to start out an insanely important season without the man most responsible for keeping the pocket clean, but hopefully that means Drew Brees' will be lint-free by mid-season. Until then, the recently added reinforcements will just have to prove why they were picked up in the first place. Either that, or some of Malcolm Butler money could go to Nick Mangold.