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saintfan 07-31-2004 07:50 AM

Saints, top pick close to deal
For the fifth consecutive season, the Saints opened training camp without their top draft pick in uniform. But this time the holdout might be a brief one.

Negotiations with first-round pick Will Smith, a defensive end from Ohio State, progressed enough late Friday night that both sides were optimistic a deal could be completed soon, perhaps as early as today.

Meanwhile, progress between New Orleans and second-round pick Devery Henderson, a wide receiver from LSU, isn't as far along as that of Smith.

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