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GumboBC 03-02-2005 07:14 AM

Saints' News

Deep snapper Kevin Houser and strong safety Jay Bellamy were re-signed to multiyear contracts before the pair could reach the open market. One-year contracts were tendered to two of the team's restricted free agents, safety Mel Mitchell and linebacker and Roger Knight. And James Allen, the starting strongside linebacker, was signed to a one-year contract -- $455,000 in base salary and a $200,000 signing bonus -- that prevents him from making a deal with another team.

The Saints plan to replace Riley with a veteran free agent. Right tackle is one of the deepest positions in an otherwise weak talent market. Veterans Oliver Ross, Kareem McKenzie and Floyd Womack are possibilities. The Saints also could make a play for guards like Mike Wahle or Keydrick Vincent and try to convert them to right tackle. Wahle, however, is expected to be the top lineman on the market and could be out of the Saints' price range.

The Saints initially expressed interest in former Tennessee Titans right tackle Fred Miller, who was released Feb. 21, but they backed off after hearing that the veteran run-blocker's desire for a signing bonus in the $10 million range. They could re-enter the picture if his asking price drops.

The New York Giants, New York Jets and St. Louis Rams also have expressed interest in Miller.

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