Curtis Lofton Signs With New Orleans Saints

The Saints lost Carl Nicks in free agency but replaced him with Ben Grubbs, who received a five-year contract.

  • Live
24 Total Updates since February 14, 2012
  • Updates 21
  • Articles 3
  • All Updates 24

David Hawthorne, Saints Agree On 5-Year Deal

The New Orleans Saints signed free-agent linebacker David Hawthorne to a five-year deal on Tuesday afternoon, according to the team's official Twitter account. Hawthorne joins Curtis Lofton and Chris Chamberlain as the third free-agent linebacker signed by the Saints this offseason.

Hawthorne, signed by the Seattle Seahawks as an undrafted free agent out of TCU in 2008, has been a mainstay in the Seahawks' lineup over the last three seasons, starting the majority of games in the middle linebacker spot during that span.

The Saints have Jonathan Vilma under contract through 2013, but he may be facing a suspension from the league for his role in the Saints bounty program. Either Hawthorne or Lofton could replace Vilma in the middle, with the other taking reps as the team's strongside linebacker. Chamberlain will probably slot in at the weakside, where new Saints defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo played him most of last season during their time together with the St. Louis Rams.

For more Saints coverage, visit Canal Street Chronicles.

Continue

Curtis Lofton Signs With New Orleans Saints On 5-Year Deal

The New Orleans Saints have added some needed depth at middle linebacker, snatching a player away from a division rival in the process. Curtis Lofton will be making an inter-division move, going from the Atlanta Falcons to the Saints. New Orleans signed him to a five-year contract on Saturday.

New Orleans has a solid starting middle linebacker in Jonathan Vilma, but his status for next season is uncertain. He was one of the key players in the Saints' bounty scandal. Sean Payton and Gregg Williams will both be suspended for the entirety of this upcoming season, but player suspensions have not been handed down yet. Vilma was found to have offered up his own money as part of a bounty, so he's likely to miss some time this year.

Lofton has been a key contributor for the Falcons in all four of his years with the team. He has started 63 out of 64 professional games in his career and he recorded 147 tackles in 2011.

For more on Bunkley and the Saints, head over to the SB Nation blog Canal Street Chronicles.

Continue

Brodrick Bunkley Joins Saints On 5-Year Deal

Somehow in the midst of the massive PR storm that logically follows the one-year suspension of your head coach, the New Orleans Saints managed to make a free agency deal, signing defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley to a five-year, $25 million contract according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Bunkley spent the past season with the Denver Broncos recording 43 tackles on a defense that gave up 123.6 yards rushing per game, and 4.1 yards per carry.

The Saints had one of the worst rush defenses in the league last year, giving up five yards per run. They had the benefit of playing with a lead for much of the season, which made any deficiencies along the defensive front a little less glaring. Still, with Shaun Rogers and Aubrayo Franklin hitting free agency after disappointing seasons, the Saints needed to secure a big body for the middle of the defensive line. At 6'2, 306 pounds, Bunkley should be a solid addition.

For more on Bunkley and the Saints, head over to the SB Nation blog Canal Street Chronicles.

Continue

Saints Replace Carl Nicks With Ben Grubbs In Free Agency

The New Orleans Saints allowed Carl Nicks, the No. 1 guard available, to hit the free agency market where he landed a five-year, $47.5 million deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

That's OK, though, as the Saints will replace him with Ben Grubbs, the No. 2 free agent guard. Grubbs comes from the Baltimore Ravens, who selected him their first-round pick in the 2007 NFL draft.

Per ESPN's Adam Schefter, Grubbs will receive a five-year, $36 million deal that includes a $10 million signing bonus. That's about $11.5 million less than Nicks but Grubbs isn't that far behind Nicks talent-wise. This is a solid signing by the Saints when compared to Nicks' deal.

The Saints' adventurous offseason continues. From the bounty scandal to Drew Brees' franchise tag, it's been quite the offseason for New Orleans.

For more free agency updates, go to SB Nation's Saints blog, Canal Street Chronicles.


Continue

Robert Meachem, Chargers Agree To 4-Year Contract

Robert Meachem agreed to a four-year contract with the San Diego Chargers, the team announced late Tuesday. Terms of the deal were not officially released, but Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports the deal is worth $25.9 million, which includes $14 million fully guaranteed.

Though Meachem's arrival coincides with VIncent Jackson's departure, it remains to be seen if he can fill the shoes left behind by the two-time Pro Bowler. Jackson topped 1,000 receiving yards in three of his last four years, with the lone exception being 2010 when he played in only five games due to injury. He agreed to a five-year, $55 million deal with the Buccaneers on Tuesday.

Meachem, on the other hand, has never gained more than 722 yards in his four seasons with the Saints, catching 40 passes for 620 yards and six touchdowns in 2011. Part of the reason his numbers have been limited is because he's played behind the likes of Marques Colston, Jimmy Graham and Devery Henderson throughout his career. The Chargers, on the other hand, no longer have a clear-cut No. 1 receiver, and Meachem should be given every chance to claim that role.

Meachem also received interest from the Buffalo Bills, which may have contributed to San Diego's decision to sign him on the first day of free agency.

For more on Meachem, check out Chargers blog Bolts From The Blue and Saints blog Canal Street Chronicles.

Continue

Free Agent Carl Nicks Visiting Tampa Bay Buccaneers, According To Report

Back in New Orleans, the Saints are hosting free agent guard Ben Grubbs for a visit. That's the team that free agent guard Carl Nicks just left and it appears that Nicks has one visit set up at this point. According to the Tampa Bay Times, Nicks is scheduled to visit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Bucs have a ton of cap space and they've already been connected to one high-priced player in wide receiver Vincent Jackson. Nicks may not be as expensive as Jackson, but he's still going to cost a lot. He's on record as saying he wants to become the highest-paid guard in the NFL, which would put his salary demands up around $8 million per year.

Nicks was the Saints' fifth-round pick in the 2008 NFL draft. He has started all but three games in his four-year NFL career.

For more on the Bucs, head over to Bucs Nation and SB Nation Tampa Bay.

Continue

Free Agent Ben Grubbs Visiting Saints, According To Report

The New Orleans Saints are expected to bring in guard Ben Grubbs for a visit this week, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune. This is an interesting situation because the Saints are letting guard Carl Nicks walk in free agency. Nicks has made it clear he wants to be the highest-paid guard in the NFL, so Grubbs would likely come at a more affordable price.

The Baltimore Ravens reportedly made Grubbs an offer earlier this week but he opted to test free agency. If New Orleans or Baltimore doesn't pay him, someone else will. He's young and talented, which are valuable characteristics in NFL free agency.

Grubbs was the Ravens' first-round pick in the 2007 NFL draft. He has started all 16 games in three of his five seasons.

For more free agency updates, go to SB Nation's Saints blog, Canal Street Chronicles.

Continue

Marques Colston, Saints Agree To 5-Year Contract

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Marques Colston looked like he was destined to hit the free agency market on on Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET, the official start of NFL free agency, but the Saints made a last second push and locked up the talented receiver for five more years.

After hitting quarterback Drew Brees with the franchise tag, it didn't look like the Saints would be able to keep Colston, but the two sides were able to work out a new contract extension. Colston was expected to draw plenty of interest as a free agent, being one of the top receivers available, but the Saints made sure they locked up their leading wide receiver.

For more free agency updates, go to SB Nation's Saints blog, Canal Street Chronicles.

Continue

Saints Make Carl Nicks An Offer As Free Agency Looms

New Orleans Saints guard Carl Nicks is expected to hit the open market when free agency officially starts on Tuesday March 13 at 4 p.m. ET. Considering the Saints have used their franchise tag on quarterback Drew Brees, and Nicks is reportedly looking to be the highest paid guard in the NFL, that Nicks will likely be a free agent is no surprise. On late Monday evening however, the Saints made what sounds like a reasonable offer to the free agent guard.

Nicks tweeted Monday night, "Y'all know I keep it real on this. My agent told me the saints made me an offer and it is respectable..." He followed that up by tweeting, "Still need time to think and talk with my family."

With free agency starting soon, plenty of teams will make a last minute push to keep their impending free agents by rushing to try and beat the deadline.

For more free agency updates, go to SB Nation's Saints blog, Canal Street Chronicles.

Continue

Saints Free Agency 2012: Drew Brees Staying, Carl Nicks, Marques Colston Likely Gone

The New Orleans Saints went 13-3 in the 2011 regular season but fell to an upset in the playoffs by the San Francisco 49ers. Drew Brees set a new single-season passing record by throwing for 5,476 yards and 46 touchdowns, which led the team to win the NFC South. Unfortunately for the Saints, they're being gutted by free agency as Brees, and a handful of other top-tier players are all scheduled the be unrestricted free agents. The team used the franchise tag on Brees, which means they'll keep their star quarterback but it also means they'll likely lose the other players.

The Saints have to worry about league sanctions from the "bountygate" issue, but they also likely need to worry about how they're going to replace Carl Nicks, one of the better guards in this year's free agency class, and Marques Colston, the team's No. 1 wide receiver. Fellow wide receiver Robert Meachem is also a free agent.

The Saints aren't in cap trouble, but with so many talented players potentially leaving, they won't have enough money to keep everybody. Carl Nicks is probably as good as gone and the team would surely love to keep either Colston or Meachem, if not both, but they could possibly lose both based on other teams' needs. When it comes to bringing in outside players, the Saints may attempt to find a pass rusher as they had trouble getting to the quarterback in 2011. They won't have the money to make a move for Mario Williams, but they could go after a guy like Jeremy Mincey in free agency.

For more free agency updates, go to SB Nation's Saints blog, Canal Street Chronicles.

Continue

Carl Nicks: 'I Plan To Be Highest Paid Guard In The NFL'

The New Orleans Saints have a slew of free agents expected to hit the open market. One of those free agents is offensive lineman Carl Nicks, who expects to be a high priority target in free agency for a handful of teams when NFL free agency officially begins 4 p.m. Tuesday.

Nicks wants to be the highest paid guard in the NFL, according to what Nicks told WWL in New Orleans. ""I plan to be the highest paid guard in the NFL. You can take that whatever kinda way but that's my goal, so...more than Logan Mankins got, I guess."

With the Saints placing the franchise tag on quarterback Drew Brees, players like Nicks were destined for the open market, especially considering that contract talks between Nicks and the Saints have been stagnant, at best. "No, nothing's really changed since, you know, ever I guess," Nicks told WWL on the progress of contract talks. "I'm kinda disappointed. I thought I meant a little more to the team than that, but I guess it is what it is."

For all news and information regarding the New Orleans Saints, please visit Canal Street Chronicles. For complete coverage of football free agency, stay tuned to SB Nation's dedicated NFL hub.

Continue

Randy Moss Visiting New Orleans Saints For A Workout

It was just last month that free agent Randy Moss, who announced his retirement last season, said that he wanted to come back into the league. Now, he has his first workout. Jay Glazer of FOXSports.com reports Moss is working out with the New Orleans Saints on Tuesday.

It's going to be interesting to see what kind of physical shape Moss is in. His best asset was his speed and he claims, despite not playing in the NFL last year, that he can still run in the 4.3 seconds range of the 40-yard dash. That's hard to believe for a 35-year-old who took a year off, but then again, this is Randy Moss. He's surprised us before.

The Saints make some sense as a possible destination for Moss. New Orleans might be losing Marques Colston in free agency and it wasn't that long ago that Moss was a productive member of a Patriots offense that can rival the explosiveness of the Saints offense.

Moss is a free agent so he's free to sign anywhere. My guess is that teams will sort through the younger free agents on the market first and then make their way back to Moss. Someone at some point will take a shot on him.

Continue

Drew Brees Contract: Saints Use Franchise Tag On Star QB

The New Orleans Saints have placed the franchise tag on their superstar quarterback, Drew Brees, the team announced Saturday. Brees and the Saints have reportedly been embroiled in an ugly negotiation, one that included GM Mickey Loomis calling the Super Bowl-winner and all-time single-season yardage king "very good, not great."

Players designated as a team's franchisee make the average of the five highest salaries at their position for one year, a number that won't be determined until the end of free agency though, at the moment, it appears to be between $16 million and $17 million for a quarterback, according to the NFL.

With Brees receiving the tag, that means Pro Bowl guard Carl Nicks will become an unrestricted free agent, as will Brees' favorite wide receiver target, Marques Colston.

This news would be met with more, well, anything, were it not for the revelations that the Saints, under former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, organized a ring of bounties as reward for injuring opposing teams' star players. Serious punishment is expected from the league. Any negotiations with Brees for a long-term deal, which must be reached by a July 15 deadline, might be put on the back burner while the team deals with the fallout.

For all news and information regarding the New Orleans Saints, please visit Canal Street Chronicles. For complete coverage of football free agency, stay tuned to SB Nation's dedicated NFL hub.

Continue

Saints, Drew Brees Situation Starting To Get A Little Ugly

New Orleans Saints' QB Drew Brees is scheduled to be a free agent on March 13 but the Saints will never let him reach the market. He'll be issued the franchise tag if the two sides can't reach an agreement by this weekend. The deadline to use the franchise tag is Monday, March 5.

But they are entering into dangerous territory, at least as far as the PR game goes. Earlier this week Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports reported that the Saints GM only wanted to pay Brees as a "very good" not a great quarterback. That, of course, ruffled some feathers.

And now a report comes out -- probably from the team -- that the Saints offered Brees a contract before last season that would have made him the highest paid player in the NFL and he turned it down. Via Larry Holder at CBSSports.com:

The Saints offered Drew Brees a long-term contract before the 2011 season that would have made him the highest-paid player in the NFL -- and Brees and his agent, Tom Condon, turned down the offer, a league source told CBSSports.com. "He (general manager Mickey Loomis) offered Brees the highest-paid contract in NFL history," the source said. "Does that not equate with great or elite?"

The Saints and Drew Brees are a perfect match. He's the face of the franchise. That's why it's so strange to see the leaks and this PR game going on. It's not a coincidence a source revealed this news just a day after the Yahoo! Sports report.

Brees, more than likely, will be franchised before Monday's deadline and then the two sides will have until July 15 to replace the franchise tag with a longterm deal.

For all news and information regarding the New Orleans Saints, please visit Canal Street Chronicles. For complete coverage of football free agency, stay tuned to SB Nation's dedicated NFL hub.

Continue

Saints GM: Drew Brees Only 'Very Good,' Not 'Great', According To Report

Citing three league sources, Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports reports that New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis has been defining Drew Brees as a "very good", not "great" quarterback when asked to explain why it's taking so long to sign Brees to a contract extension.

The Saints have until 4 p.m. ET on Monday, March 5 to either sign Brees to a multi-year extension or use the franchise tag to retain negotiating rights. The franchise tender for a quarterback in 2012 is reportedly worth around $14.5 million. Recent contracts for top quarterbacks Tom Brady and Peyton Manning have averaged $18 million per season, with Michael Vick signing a six-year, $100 million extension ($16.667 million) last August. Eli Manning ($16.25 million) and Phillip Rivers ($15.3 million) round out the top five annual salaries at the quarterback position.

According to Cole, the Saints and Brees' agent, Tom Condon of CAA Football (who negotiated both of the Manning contracts), are over $5 million per year apart on contract talks, which could require Saints owner Tom Benson intervening to get a deal done.

If the Saints need to use the franchise tag on Brees, they're all but certain to lose Pro Bowl guard Carl Nicks and No. 1 wide receiver Marques Colston to free agency. A long-term extension for Brees would enable the club to use their franchise tag on Nicks ($9.447 million) or Colston ($9.443 million).

For all news and information regarding the New Orleans Saints, please visit Canal Street Chronicles. For complete coverage of football free agency, stay tuned to SB Nation's dedicated NFL hub.

Continue

Saints Free Agency: Carl Nicks Doesn't Want Franchise Tag

The New Orleans Saints are in a bit of a bind entering the 2012 NFL offseason with three players who are franchise-tag candidates. The franchise tag will likely be used on quarterback Drew Brees if a long term deal can't be done. Saints free agent offensive lineman Carl Nicks hopes that the talks between Brees and the Saints go slow, because he doesn't want to get tagged.

Teams have until March 5 to tender free agents with the franchise tag, Nicks is expected to get his wish to avoid the franchise tag. Nicks will be one of the most sought after free agent offensive lineman on the open market in 2012.

For all news and information regarding the New Orleans Saints, please visit Canal Street Chronicles. For complete coverage of football free agency, stay tuned to SB Nation's dedicated NFL hub.

Continue

Saints Keep A Few Of Their Own Free Agents

While the New Orleans Saints are still trying to close in on a deal with quarterback Drew Brees, the team is continuing to make moves to solidify their team heading into next season. They've managed to lock up three of their exclusive rights free agent players well in advance of the March 13 free agent deadline.


Introducing the SB Nation YouTube Channel | Subscribe Now | Follow @SBNStudios


The Saints announced via their official website that they have agreed to terms with safety Jonathon Amaya, wide receiver Adrian Arrington and long snapper Justin Drescher.

Arrington has been with the Saints since being drafted in the seventh round in the 2008 NFL Draft. Amaya has been with the team since 2011 and Drescher signed as a free agent in 2010.

For all news and information regarding the New Orleans Saints, please visit Canal Street Chronicles. For complete coverage of football free agency, stay tuned to SB Nation's dedicated NFL hub.

Continue

Drew Brees, Saints 'Well Apart' In Contract Talks; Franchise Tag Likely

The New Orleans Saints are dealing with a number of items on their "to-do" list for the offseason, but you can be certain that the number one priority on that list is retaining their superstar quarterback Drew Brees. Brees is an impending free agent this March and the driving force of the Saints' potent offense. New Orleans can ill afford to be without him in 2012 and they have no intention of doing so.


Introducing the SB Nation YouTube Channel | Subscribe Now | Follow @SBNStudios


Adam Schefter of ESPN reported on Wednesday that Brees and the Saints remain "well apart" in talks regarding a long-term contract for the quarterback. Schefter states that if the sides are unable to come to an agreement by Monday, the Saints will apply the franchise tag on Brees. It would be their last day they would be able to do so.

This news may seem somewhat surprising, but if Brees were to hit the open market, he would be by far the best player available this year and money would be no object to obtaining him for many teams. Brees is well aware of his value, as are the Saints. Either way, he won't be going anywhere.

For all news and information regarding the New Orleans Saints, please visit Canal Street Chronicles. For complete coverage of football free agency, stay tuned to SB Nation's dedicated NFL hub.

Continue

NFL Free Agency 2012: Carl Nicks Hopes To Make More Than Jahri Evans

The New Orleans Saints had a powerhouse offense in 2011, but they will have many questions to answer in the offseason. Beyond hopefully securing star quarterback Drew Brees with a contract extension, the Saints will need to make decisions on their impending free agents while attempting to address deficiencies with their defense.

Dave Cariello of Canal Street Chronicles reports that New Orleans guard Carl Nicks recently appeared on Sirius radio and stated there have been no negotiations between him and the team. He also said that he has aspirations of becoming the highest-paid guard in the NFL, specifically mentioning that he would like his next contract to be worth more than the current contract of his teammate, Jahri Evans. Evans is currently signed to a seven-year, $56.7 million deal.

According to Ira Kaufman at Tampa Bay Online, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could be one of the interested parties in Nicks, should the Saints fail to entice the guard with a new contract.

If the Saints don't slap the franchise tag on Nicks, Tampa Bay could be very interested in his services. He would fit in snugly at left guard, opposite Pro Bowl right guard Davin Joseph, and the Bucs could boast one of the premier offensive lines in the NFL, with Donald Penn and Jeremy Trueblood manning the tackle spots.

Signing Nicks wouldn't be a sexy move for a franchise that craves more attention, but he would give new offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan the tools up front to implement a dynamic offensive scheme.

Nicks' statements certainly raise eyebrows. If he really wants a record-setting contract, he will be unlikely to receive it from the Saints. It then falls on New Orleans to decide whether or not to place the franchise tag on him.

For all news and information regarding the New Orleans Saints, please visit Canal Street Chronicles. For complete coverage of football free agency, stay tuned to SB Nation's dedicated NFL hub.

Continue

NFL Free Agency 2012: Saints' Carl Nicks Should Be A Hot Commodity

New Orleans Saints guard Carl Nicks will be one of the top free agents on the market this year, with plenty of teams chasing him. Will the Saints keep him or let him slip away?

Continue

Free Agent Lofa Tatupu Visits Saints, Titans

Lofa Tatupu sat out the 2011 season after he was unable to come to a contract agreement with the Seattle Seahawks. The linebacker was drafted by Seattle in 2005 and spent six seasons with the team before becoming a free agent. Although he did not play last year, he appears to be drawing interest from at least two teams for the upcoming 2012 season.

Jason La Canfora of NFL.com reports that Tatupu visited the New Orleans Saints on Monday and the Tennessee Titans on Tuesday. Both teams could greatly benefit from an improved pass rush in 2012.

The three-time Pro Bowl selection has career totals of 543 tackles, 8.5 sacks and 10 interceptions.

For all news and information regarding the New Orleans Saints, please visit Canal Street Chronicles. For updates and perspective on the Tennessee Titans, head on over to Music City Miracles. For complete coverage of football free agency, stay tuned to SB Nation's dedicated NFL hub.

Continue

NFL Free Agency 2012: Marques Colston, Saints Not Making Progress, According To Report

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Marques Colston is set to hit free agency, and according to a report haven't talked about a new contract yet.

Continue

Saints Free Agents 2012: Drew Brees Among Unsigned

It wasn't long ago that a season that ended in the playoffs would have been deemed a major success for the New Orleans Saints. However, these days, it's status quo. And despite going 13-3 and winning the NFC South, it certainly felt like the status quo when the team was bounced in the Divisional Round by the San Francisco 49ers.

Obviously the first order of business is to sign quarterback Drew Brees, who will receive the franchise tag if the two sides cannot work out a long-term extension. Wide receivers Marques Colston and Robert Meachem and Pro Bowl guard Carl Nicks are also free agents that need contracts sooner than later.

Here is the full crop of impending Saints free agents, courtesy of Mac's Football Blog.

Exclusive Rights Free Agents (4)

WR Adrian Arrington
OC Brian De La Puente
S Jon Amaya
LS Justin Drescher

Restricted Free Agents (3)

QB Chase Daniel
LB Jonathan Casillas
LB Ramon Humber

Unrestricted Free Agents (16)

QB Drew Brees
WR Marques Colston
WR Robert Meachem
WR Courtney Roby
TE John Gilmore
TE Tory Humphrey
OT Pat McQuistan
OG Carl Nicks
DE Jeff Charleston
DE Turk McBride
DT Aubrayo Franklin
DT Shaun Rogers
LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar
CB Tracy Porter
CB Leigh Torrence
K John Kasay

For more on the Saints, visit Canal Street Chronicles.

Continue
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.