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Howard to sign qualifying offer

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; For the second consecutive offseason, New Orleans defensive lineman Darren Howard will sign the one-year qualifying offer for a "franchise" player, ESPN.com has learned. But while the move will guarantee the $7.8 million which accompanies the "franchise" designation for the ...

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Old 03-08-2005, 03:12 PM   #1
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Howard to sign qualifying offer

For the second consecutive offseason, New Orleans defensive lineman Darren Howard will sign the one-year qualifying offer for a "franchise" player, ESPN.com has learned.




But while the move will guarantee the $7.8 million which accompanies the "franchise" designation for the five-year veteran, and means the club cannot rescind the marker, it doesn't ensure that Howard will be back with the Saints in 2005.

Despite the significance the "franchise" designation implies, Saints officials are open to trading Howard if someone meets their asking price. It is believed that New Orleans is seeking a second-round draft choice. League sources said there have been discussions with at least one NFC franchise.Agent Gary Wichard apprised New Orleans officials on Tuesday that he is filing the paperwork to accept the qualifying offer. Howard did the same thing last year, hoping to subsequently sign a long-term contract, but that never developed. In a surprising move, but one aimed at assuring that Howard didn't defect in unrestricted free agency, with New Orleans getting nothing in return, the Saints employed the "franchise" marker again two weeks ago.

There have once again been no negotiations, though, on a long-term contract.
The New Orleans financial situation does not dictate a trade of Howard, but moving him to another team would create substantial salary cap room and provide the team further flexibility in pursuing other players. Plus, the Saints already have two standout young defensive ends, both former first-round picks, in Charles Grant and Will Smith.

Howard, 28, should be attractive to teams seeking an accomplished two-way defender. Last year, the Saints often moved Howard to tackle in "nickel" situations and, despite little previous experience there, he was a force on the pass rush, tying his career best with 11 sacks. He also had 46 tackles, four forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries, in only 12 starts.

A second-round pick in the 2000 draft, the former Kansas State standout has posted 229 tackles, 41 sacks, 11 forced fumbles, six recoveries and two interceptions, appearing in 69 games and starting all but one of them.


Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. To check out Len's chat archive, click here .
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Old 03-08-2005, 03:20 PM   #2
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Howard to sign qualifying offer

Not surprising news....he\'ll still be traded. A second rounder sounds about right.
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Old 03-08-2005, 03:23 PM   #3
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Howard to sign qualifying offer

Maybe a trade is right around the corner. I\'ve noticed that several players contracts are due on March 12th. Things that make you go hmmmmmmmm?
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Old 03-08-2005, 04:03 PM   #4
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Howard to sign qualifying offer

Better be a high second rounder -- I mean he is definitely worth a top 5 second rounder -- and probably a 4th roundewr thrown in or something --
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Old 03-08-2005, 04:32 PM   #5
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Howard to sign qualifying offer

Better be a high second rounder
You got that right. Howard was taken with the 33rd overall pick that year. Not only that, but so many high draft picks end up being busts. Howard is -definitely- not a bust.

If they end up taking a 2nd round pick for him, and that\'s all, and that pick ends up being at the bottom of the draft order next year, then I\'ll be disgusted.
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Old 03-08-2005, 05:35 PM   #6
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Howard to sign qualifying offer

Yeah..that\'s just bad buisness to let himn go for only 1 second round pick...surley they can wheel and deal for more than that...I mean..he is coming off an 11 sack season...he lead the team in sacks...and he played healthy pretty much all year...

He\'s worth a 2nd and a player..or a 2nd and a 3rd...at least...
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Old 03-08-2005, 08:18 PM   #7
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Howard to sign qualifying offer

How bout our #16 and Howard for the Titans #6 and we grab DJ! If ya\'ll have\'nt noticed I am on the DJ bandwagon and will not jump off until someone right in front of us drafts him(like DJ Williams last year)
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Old 03-09-2005, 02:11 AM   #8
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Howard to sign qualifying offer

LOL

nah man, hadn\'t noticed, would\'ve never guessed....

and that\'s OK, cause I\'m on the DJ bandwagon too. But... I just don\'t think it\'s realistic to think that we\'re gonna get him. It\'s more realistic (in my opinion) to hope that they\'ll find other difference makers lower down. But there\'s certainly no doubt that one of them (at least) will have to be a linebacker.
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Old 03-09-2005, 03:08 AM   #9
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Howard to sign qualifying offer

In a surprising move, but one aimed at assuring that Howard didn\'t defect in unrestricted free agency, with New Orleans getting nothing in return, the Saints employed the \"franchise\" marker again two weeks ago.
Gonna suck when we end up dishing out the $7.8 million because noone wants to trade for him at that price. If that happens, you can bet he\'ll stay hurt all season.

And we still won\'t have a LB...


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Old 03-09-2005, 01:02 PM   #10
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Howard to sign qualifying offer

A second and a third is too much for most teams I\'m sure. If you remember, Marshall Faulk went to the Rams for a second rounder. I guess it depends on if it\'s a high second or low second.

Like I said in another post....for his price tag he\'s too expensive to keep. Will Smith will be the starter at LE at one point or another, and Howard will be gone at one point or another. Making a clean break is the best way to go.
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