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New Orleans Saints free agency roundup for 3/5/2010

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; By Mike Triplett, The Times-Picayune March 06, 2010, 1:26AM The New Orleans Saints locked up one of their veteran safeties on the first day of free agency Friday, but not the one that everyone's been wondering about. Michael DeMocker/The Times-PicayuneLinebacker ...

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Old 03-06-2010, 01:06 PM   #1
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New Orleans Saints free agency roundup for 3/5/2010

By Mike Triplett, The Times-Picayune
March 06, 2010, 1:26AM
The New Orleans Saints locked up one of their veteran safeties on the first day of free agency Friday, but not the one that everyone's been wondering about.


Michael DeMocker/The Times-PicayuneLinebacker Scott Fujita is testing the free agent market in Cleveland.The Super Bowl champs re-signed backup Pierson Prioleau to a one-year deal, their first signing of the 2010 season, while fellow safety Darren Sharper and outside linebacker Scott Fujita remain unsigned on the open market.

The Saints have had positive discussions with both Sharper and Fujita, according to league sources. But both veteran starters have also been shopping elsewhere.

Fujita, 30, is scheduled to visit the Cleveland Browns today, according to a league source. Sharper, 34, had no visits scheduled as of Friday night, but at least two teams had been in contact with him, according to a league source. At least one team had requested a visit that Sharper had not yet agreed to as talks continued through the night.

Neither the Saints, the players, nor their agents offered comment.

Fujita's visit to Cleveland comes as a surprise because the longtime starter has made it clear that he wants to remain in New Orleans, and he is not expected to command an exorbitant salary.

Apparently, the Saints are willing to let Sharper and Fujita explore the free agent market, perhaps hoping they will lower their contract desires in the process.

The Newark Star-Ledger reported early Friday that the New York Giants were showing interest in Sharper as a fallback option before they signed Antrel Rolle. Chicago and Miami have also been mentioned as suitors, but none of those teams' interests have been confirmed.

Sharper has also said that he prefers to remain in New Orleans, and the Saints have said they want him back. But the team has made it clear that it won't overpay to keep him if another team is willing to top their offer.

In general, this was a quiet opening day for the Saints, thanks in large part to new restrictions put in place against the final four playoff teams as the league heads into a year without a salary cap.

The Saints are not allowed to sign any unrestricted free agents unless they lose one of their own, and then the new player's first-year salary and bonuses cannot exceed that of the player lost.

The Saints are, however, allowed to sign veterans who are released by other teams "" a list that continued to grow Friday as teams around the league continued to trim hefty contracts.

The only confirmed transactions made by the Saints on Friday were the official release of veteran defensive end Charles Grant and the one-year agreement with Prioleau, 32, a dime defensive back and core special teams player.

Prioleau, who followed longtime defensive coordinator Gregg Williams to New Orleans last season, said it was "an easy decision" for him to remain with the Saints. He said he told his wife and friends that it would "probably be here or done, " and he told his agent if the Saints wanted him back, this is where he wanted to be.

"I embraced my role and the city, and I wanted to be here, after being in New Orleans for a year and being around the guys in that locker room, " said Prioleau, who led the Saints with 21 special teams tackles in the regular season. "Where I'm at in my career, I'm doing it because I love playing, and my kids are actually getting old enough where they enjoy it. I just want to play the game. It's not a situation where, 'Can I get all this money here or there?' It was just, 'Can I play for the Saints one more time?' "

The Saints opened the day with 10 unrestricted free agents, with Sharper and Fujita the only starters. Other than Prioleau, long snapper Jason Kyle, quarterback Mark Brunell, tight ends Billy Miller, Darnell Dinkins and Dan Campbell, center Nick Leckey and defensive tackle Kendrick Clancy are unrestricted.

NESBIT TAKES RELEASE IN STRIDE: Guard Jamar Nesbit, who was released by the Saints on Thursday, said he took the news in stride and understands that it's part of the "evolution of everybody's career."

He also said as of right now, he doesn't plan on New Orleans being his last stop.

"I was just talking to my wife about it, and you know what, the position I'm in is no different than most other guys that had come before me, " Nesbit said. "When I was a young guy coming in, a bunch of veterans were on the way out. It's just the circle of life.

"Unfortunately, I wasn't able to fulfill the terms of my contract. But I have no ill will toward anyone. I had a great run. And I was able to finish off as a Super Bowl champion."

Nesbit, who spent six years in New Orleans and started every game in 2006 and 2007, said it was bittersweet to watch the Super Bowl from the sideline after being declared inactive for each playoff game. But he said he felt like he had put in his time and earned his place on the team, whether he was playing in the game or not.

Nesbit lost his starting job under unfortunate circumstances in 2008, when he served a four-game suspension for testing positive for a banned diuretic in the infamous StarCaps saga. Unlike teammates Will Smith, Charles Grant and Deuce McAllister, Nesbit chose not to fight his suspension and decided to get it out of the way early in the season. But rookie Carl Nicks filled in for him and never surrendered the job.

Ultimately, though, Nesbit said he doesn't feel slighted, by any means, by the way things turned out for him.

"When I look at it, I had a bunch of firsts here in New Orleans, " said Nesbit, who began his career in Carolina and Jacksonville. "My first hurricane. My first division championships, the Super Bowl. And it's the first time I've ever been cut in my life.

"It just reinvigorates you, and you're excited to find out what the next challenges are."

Grant has not been reached for comment since he was released.

New Orleans Saints free agency roundup for 3/5/2010 | - NOLA.com



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Old 03-06-2010, 03:08 PM   #2
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Re: New Orleans Saints free agency roundup for 3/5/2010

Originally Posted by QBREES9 View Post
The Saints are, however, allowed to sign veterans who are released by other teams "" a list that continued to grow Friday as teams around the league continued to trim hefty contracts.
I wasn't aware of this until I read a blog by Pat Yasinkas. This is good news. There is some talent out there that has been released that can be picked up, if necessary.
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Old 03-06-2010, 03:41 PM   #3
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Re: New Orleans Saints free agency roundup for 3/5/2010

Very classy of Nesbit. He's obviously on the downside of his career, but I wish him the best. I always liked him.
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Old 03-06-2010, 04:05 PM   #4
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Re: New Orleans Saints free agency roundup for 3/5/2010

Originally Posted by QBREES9 View Post
Grant has not been reached for comment since he was released.
According to the Associated Press, Grant was located for comment, but he could not make a statement due to the massive amounts of cheeseburgers lodged in his mouth.
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Old 03-06-2010, 05:05 PM   #5
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Re: New Orleans Saints free agency roundup for 3/5/2010

I don't see Sharper or Fujita going anywhere. This may just be a ploy to try and increase their value to the Saints. Why would they leave to go to Cleveland and Miami or the Giants? Not
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Old 03-07-2010, 07:00 AM   #6
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Re: New Orleans Saints free agency roundup for 3/5/2010

Originally Posted by CheramieIII View Post
I don't see Sharper or Fujita going anywhere. This may just be a ploy to try and increase their value to the Saints. Why would they leave to go to Cleveland and Miami or the Giants? Not
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Old 03-07-2010, 07:55 AM   #7
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Re: New Orleans Saints free agency roundup for 3/5/2010

I hear ya Legend but I don't think the little extra money they'll get will outweigh the chances of repeating as Superbowl champions.
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