Saints rumor mill: Horn of not-so plenty
This is an online-only bonus report
Staff and Wire Reports
Posted on April 7, 2003
New Orleans wide receiver Joe Horn, as perhaps expected, has not appeared for the Saints' offseason conditioning program.
Horn, the only player without permission to stay away, is also one of the few Saints players under contract who hasn't shown up.
The reason: A contract disagreement.
It's costing Horn a $100,000 workout bonus. He hasn't yet said whether he'll be at the team's May minicamp.
"Horn's agent, Ralph Vitolo, is seeking a deal similar to the seven-year, $40 million deal Denver gave Rod Smith in 2002," according to the Times-Picayune. "That contract included an $11 million signing bonus."
Horn, 31, is the same age Smith was at the time of that deal - and he also has two years left on his original contract.
The rest of the comparison breaks down like this:
-- Smith averaged 97 catches, 1,321 yards and seven touchdowns in the three seasons before he signed the extension.
-- Horn has averaged 88 receptions, 1,305 receiving yards and eight touchdowns in three seasons with the Saints - "by far the most prolific three-year period by a receiver in club history," according to the New Orleans paper.
Fletcher memorial: The family of Saints Grounds Superintendent Tim Fletcher, who passed away on March 25, requested that friends of Tim who wish to remember him can do so in the following ways:
-- Donations can be made to the Tim Fletcher Fund at the following address: Tim Fletcher Fund, c/o City of Harahan, 6437 Jefferson Highway, Harahan, La., 70123; ATTN: Mayor Paul Johnston. Payment should be made payable to Tim Fletcher Fund.
-- Donations can also be made to any charity of your choice in memory of Tim Fletcher.
Safety in numbers: The Saints have targeted two veterans and hope to draft a safety prospect in the first three rounds, according to the Sporting News.
The vets they're looking at: Anthony Dorsett, Lethon Flowers, Victor Green and Arturo Freeman.
"They let safety Sammy Knight and linebacker Charlie Clemons flee via free agency and would like to solidify both areas," writes Jay Glazer of CBS's Sportsline.com. "The Saints have been trying to swing a trade for New England's Tebucky Jones, a deal that may get done closer to the start of the draft or during the selection process itself. If not, they will go after a safety."
Whoever is signed with compete with Mel Mitchell and Jay Bellamy for the two starting spots, which TSN's Jeff Duncan says are open.
Mathis to visit: KFFL.com reports that the New Orleans Saints will have DB Rashean Mathis from Bethune-Cookman in for a pre-draft visit.
Backed into a corner: Saints coach Jim Haslett is now saying he wants a cornerback in the first round, according to the Times-Picayune. "The player for which he would be willing to trade up, perhaps into the top 10, is Kentucky junior defensive tackle Dewayne Robertson (6-1, 324 pounds)."
That's expected, writes Jay Glazer for CBS's Sportsline.com.
"When the smoke clears," Glazer says, "Jim Haslett and Loomis's needs are pretty well-defined: Priority numero uno is a top-notch cornerback. Unless they work a deal to move into the top three they probably will not get Kansas State's Terence Newman, touted by many as a better corner than last year's elite youngsters Quentin Jammer and Philip Buchanan."
Glazer says Carolina might move down if Marcus Trufant is available at its pick. The Cowboys and Bears, he writes, would also be willing to move out of the top five.
"We would like to get a corner and improve our speed on defense," Glazer quotes an unnamed Saints official as saying. "We don't have any glaring holes on offense but we have put a priority on getting a tight end. That's our highest priority on offense. After the first round, we'll get into the mode of taking the best available guys irrespective of the positions they play."
Robertson, who was nagged by ankle and knee injuries in 2002, ran the 40 in 4.84 seconds at his pro day workout, according to the New Orleans paper: "He reminds many scouts of Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Warren Sapp. Getting Robertson might be a tall order for the Saints because Robertson is not expected to get past the Minnesota Vikings at the seventh pick."
Over there: Chris Finlen, a Saints allocation to NFL Europe from Northern Illinois, had a big day as overseas league play got underway.
Finlen, coming in on Barcelona's first possession, marched the Dragons down the field - then found tight end Gabe Crecion for an 11 yard score, making it 6-6. Jesus Angoy's extra point gave the Dragons the lead.
Other Saints NFL Europe assignments are: Tackle Jovon Bush from Clemson, to the Berlin Thunder; wide receiver Kerwin Cook from Tulane and guard Melvin Paige from South Carolina, also to Barcelona; and defensive tackle John Schlecht from Minnesota to Frankfurt.
Quote, unquote: "The philosophy of every team that I've been with and every GM I worked for has been to be aggressive," said Loomis. "The teams I have been with made a lot of trades. I don't see that changing. We'll be open-minded about moving up and open-minded about moving back. We'll be aggressive if the right opportunities arise. If not, we are completely happy with where we pick."
Life of Riley: Offensive tackle Victor Riley has come back to camps looking a good bit slimmer. The Sporting News says he reported to the offseason conditioning program at 328 pounds, down from 350.
"Riley's potential is unfulfilled, but his renewed commitment may mean the team will let Jerry Fontenot leave as a free agent," Duncan writes. "Then it could move Kendyl Jacox to center and Spencer Folau to left guard, with Riley on the right."
[Edited on 4/8/2003 by pakowitz]
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