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howard signs

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Saints defensive end Darren Howard signed his one-year tender as the team's franchise free agent, a move that does not affect the team's ability to trade the five-year veteran, team officials said Monday. The Saints also are expected to release ...

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Old 03-15-2005, 05:35 PM   #1
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howard signs

Saints defensive end Darren Howard signed his one-year tender as the team's franchise free agent, a move that does not affect the team's ability to trade the five-year veteran, team officials said Monday.

The Saints also are expected to release safety Tebucky Jones today, after failing to complete a trade with Miami. The move comes on the day the Saints were scheduled to pay Jones a $400,000 roster bonus. The Miami Herald is reporting Jones will sign a three-year contract with the Dolphins as early as tonight.

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The move to sign Howard is significant only because it guarantees him a $7.8 million base salary this season. As Collective Bargaining Agreement rules stipulate, the salary is 120 percent of the $6.5 million salary he earned as the Saints' franchise free agent in 2003.

If Howard didn't sign the tender, the Saints would have been free to pull the offer at any time, rendering Howard an unrestricted free agent at a time when few teams have the cap room to negotiate such lucrative long-term contracts.

The Saints are free to discuss a deal for Howard with other teams without a deadline and can trade him without incurring a salary-cap hit. As of Friday, the Saints were $5.4 million under the cap.

If the Saints want to negotiate a long-term deal with Howard before trading him, they must do so before 3 p.m. Wednesday. Otherwise, they'll have to wait until after July 15.

Clubs interested in acquiring Howard are not restricted from negotiating a long-term deal with him, provided they have the room to accommodate his contract under the $85.5 million salary cap.

Dallas still is the most interested suitor. Miami, Minnesota, Seattle and Washington also have been mentioned as possible trade candidates.

Cowboys officials have exchanged proposals on a long-term contact with Howard's agent, Gary Wichard, in recent days and have discussed compensation with Saints officials.

Howard is believed to be seeking a deal similar to the one defensive end Grant Wistrom received from Seattle as an unrestricted free agent last season. That six-year contract totaled $33 million and included a $14 million signing bonus.

Saints general manager Mickey Loomis was unavailable for comment Monday.

In other free-agent moves, Seattle linebacker Anthony Simmons left town Monday without a contract offer and was on his way to Green Bay for a visit with the Packers today.

New Orleans also has expressed interest in scheduling a visit with Tampa Bay defensive tackle Chartric Darby. The 6-foot-0, 270-pound veteran visited Seattle on Monday. He also is considering a visit to Atlanta.

Darby is the third veteran defensive tackle the Saints have pursued during free agency.


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Old 03-16-2005, 09:09 AM   #2
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howard signs

This is what I have been saying all week it seems... he didn\'t sign it until Monday.
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