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QBREES9 01-27-2008 02:17 PM

Long winter gives Saints time to plan | Sports | Mickles: Long winter gives Saints time to plan — Baton Rouge, LA

Of more immediate concern: Six current starters — center Jeff Faine, guard Jamar Nesbit, wide receiver David Patten, tight end Eric Johnson, defensive tackle Brian Young, and middle linebacker Mark Simoneau — could become UFAs on Feb. 29.

“We want to improve our football team,” Loomis said. “At the same time, we have to recognize the resources we’ve got. And we’ve got some players on our team that are going to command some of those resources, too.

“We’ve talked to some guys, and in some cases we’ve had preliminary discussions,” he said. “In some cases they’re a little further along, so we’ve got some guys we want back, definitely, guys that have been contributors to our team for a number of years that are good people. So you’d love to keep them as Saints.”

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