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Fox team report 2/13

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; The Saints are leaning toward using the franchise tag on defensive end Darren Howard for the second consecutive season. The designation would force the Saints to pay Howard an $7.8 million salary, a steep price considering the club also has ...

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Old 02-14-2005, 03:00 PM   #1
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Fox team report 2/13

The Saints are leaning toward using the franchise tag on defensive end Darren Howard for the second consecutive season. The designation would force the Saints to pay Howard an $7.8 million salary, a steep price considering the club also has two other talented, well-paid ends in Charles Grant and Will Smith. But the Saints simply can't afford to lose a player as talented and valuable as Howard without compensation.

If the Saints use the transition tag they run the risk of losing him to another team that makes a creative contract offer that Saints can't match.


If franchised, Howard also could be traded. Howard would be an attractive commodity, considering the lack of talented pass rushers on the market. He's in his prime and coming off an excellent season. That's an option worth exploring because of the development of Grant and Smith and the preponderance of needs on defense.


Negotiations on a contract extension for Pro Bowl wide receiver Joe Horn could be difficult. Horn is coming off a breakout season and has proven himself to be a gamer on Sundays. As one of just five receivers to earn four Pro Bowl invitations the past five seasons, Horn wants and deserves a healthy raise. At the same time, the club has major deals to complete with Howard and Deuce McAllister and might not want to commit major bucks to Horn at age 33.


The Saints enjoyed success with a direct snap play to running back Deuce McAllister in 2003 but had to ditch the play last season because first-year center LeCharles Bentley struggled to execute the snap. Coaches have asked him to work on his shotgun snaps this offseason.


Hard truth:: The Saints plan to give defensive tackle Johnathan Sullivan one more chance this season, but the truth of the matter is he's a bust. Team officials often compare Sullivan to wide receiver Donte' Stallworth, who matured and blossomed last season after a pair of disappointing seasons. But Sullivan lacks Stallworth's drive and heart. The Saints have done a good job of weeding out malcontents and immature players in recent years. They'd be best served to bite the salary cap hit and cut ties with the troublesome Sullivan.
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Old 02-14-2005, 03:19 PM   #2
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Fox team report 2/13

Hey, they said Stallworth had DRIVE AND HEART. I love it. Cut Sullivan he is a bust, I love that too. Horn is too old for a big contract, sad but true. Trade him to get Mike Williams in the draft. Franchise and trade Howard, gotta love that. We can turn Howard into a pick for a young LB or S. Nice job foxsports.
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Old 02-14-2005, 04:01 PM   #3
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Fox team report 2/13

The Saints have done a good job of weeding out malcontents and immature players in recent years.
You mean they weren\'t all \"cancers\" afterall?
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Old 02-14-2005, 04:10 PM   #4
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Fox team report 2/13

heyah, i had been pondering williams to replace horn myself. not a popular move around here probably but it could make sense if horn gets cops an attitude to thinking he\'s in marvin harrison\'s class. williams would be a perfect compliment to stallworth\'s size and speed. he is a giant target, runs incredible routes, great hands, good across the middle, not the fastest wideout ever. he\'s rested up for a yr and should be ready to play. i\'m betting he is gonna be all toned up and woo\'em at the combine.

i like the phrase \"preponderance of needs on defense\". i\'d say 2 linebackers, at least one db, and a run stopping dt is preponderance enough.
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Old 02-14-2005, 04:14 PM   #5
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Fox team report 2/13

If Horn had to leave, I would love Williams as a replacement. Definitely a possession receiver, which is exactly what we would need if Joe wasn\'t here. Maybe Shepperd would run some deep plays for Stall and Henderson, and Williams could control the underneath. If not him, Braylon Edwards. Receivers are coming in better and better out of the draft.
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Old 02-14-2005, 04:15 PM   #6
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Fox team report 2/13

rod gardner wr washington for a 3rd or 4th round pick might even be better. same mold, proven commodity if can be signed for a reasonable amount.
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Old 02-14-2005, 04:15 PM   #7
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Fox team report 2/13

You mean they weren\'t all \"cancers\" afterall?
No, just that they aren\'t finished yet and have more to go.
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Old 02-14-2005, 04:18 PM   #8
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Fox team report 2/13

Actually I\'m glad Joe had a monster season. It\'ll make it easier to get some value for him in a trade.
I like Mark Clayton and Braylon Edwards as much as Williams.
But if we don\'t address defense in free agency I wouldn\'t touch a WR until round 3.
Anyone subscribe to the \"Ewing Theory\"?
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Old 02-14-2005, 04:24 PM   #9
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Fox team report 2/13

i posted this in the free agent rumblings but thought it was significant and applicable here if ya missed it-

One NFL general manager feels the Saints will deal Howard to try and acquire a proven wide receiver or a starter on the defensive side of the ball.

\"I really believe the Saints will franchise Darren Howard and then deal him off,\" the AFC general manager said. \"Darren’s a real good player. Now he does have a series of injuries that would have me questioning his health, but when at full strength, he’s a real good NFL starter. Charles Grant has the makings of a Pro-Bowl performer and Will Smith is a real talent also. So it would be hard to justify $7.8 million for him unless you move him inside and I don’t believe he is built to play that spot. He’s an end and while he can give you some quality time inside, that’s not his best position and I doubt he could hold up to the every-game grind at tackle. I know they have Joe Horn and he’s a real good wide receiver, but to be honest Donté Stallworth looks like a tease player and this team needs a big, sturdy receiver that can work the inside routes. If they can’t get an end like that for Howard, then get a quality starter at outside linebacker or at free safety and maybe a draft choice.\"

----oh, and denver is officially peddling trevor pryce so a similar mkt value will be established. or maybe vice versa if the front office would surprise us.

[Edited on 14/2/2005 by LKelley67]
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Old 02-14-2005, 04:27 PM   #10
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Fox team report 2/13

I think Mark Clayton will be a BUST. As much as I get to see OU since they are in the Big 12, he has done some nice things but never been overly impressive or dominating. Edwards I definitely like and would love if we could get him. Same with Williams. He is just a beast. IF we got Clayton in the 3rd, which won\'t happen, that still won\'t be enough to satisfy replacing Joe. If we have to replace Joe, we have to do it with a stud early, or we can be pretty sure we won\'t get the same value. If we do trade Joe, you can be sure WR will be addresses early on, no matter what we do or don\'t address in free agency.
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