Lewis: Saints slate comes up balanced

Advocatefile photo by SCOTT THRELKELD Saints quarterback Drew Brees leads teammates in a pregame chant before the New Orleans Saints played the Dallas Cowboys at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome last season.

Roger Goodell still hates the Saints. Why else would they be playing play back-to-back games against a pair of tough, unfamiliar foes (Baltimore and Pittsburgh), the latter on the road, with both of them coming off their open dates? But then again, maybe he doesn’t. How much easier can it be, not facing a 2013 … Continue reading →

Saints 2014 Schedule Breakdown

Week 1: at Atlanta WHEN: Sunday, Sept. 7 TIME: Noon. TV: Fox NEED TO KNOW: After losing both games to the Falcons from 1995 to 1999, the Saints have swept the season series from their division rivals seven times since 2000 and will attempt to get a leg up again in the first of … Continue reading →

Sean Payton: No worries on Jimmy Graham, Mark Ingram situations

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON-- New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton talks with New Orleans Saints wide receiver Kenny Stills (84) after  pass intended for him was intercepted by Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Bradley Fletcher (24) in a NFL football game between the New Orleans Saints and the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Penn. Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014.

Listening to Saints coach Sean Payton speak Wednesday, it didn’t sound as if he was holding out for the unexpected: that Jimmy Graham, his All-Pro tight end, would show up for voluntary offseason workouts without his contract situation resolved. The Saints also had not decided whether they’d exercise a fifth-year option on the contract of running back … Continue reading →

Lelito is snapping for the chance to start at center

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Saints guard Tim Lelito, left, works with tackle Terron Armstead and guard Ricky Henry during training camp. Lelito, an undrafted rookie, is trying to make the Saints' final 53-man roster.

During an offseason in which his team’s three-year starter at center left town, second-year Saints offensive lineman Tim Lelito invested time in acclimating himself with a skill he otherwise may not have concentrated on as much. “I did a lot of snapping,” Lelito said Wednesday to local reporters during an appearance at Airline Park Academy in Metairie. “I got … Continue reading →

NFL will release schedule Wednesday

Associated Press file photo by GERALD HERBERT -- Saints tight end Jimmy Graham emerges from a tunnel during player introductions before a game against the Arizona Cardinals on Sept. 22. The Saints will have dates and times for this year's opponents when the NFL releases its full schedule Wednesday night.

Your wait for the 2014 NFL schedule is almost over. The league confirmed Tuesday that the always-anticipated rollout will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday. It’s the latest announcement of the schedule since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970. While the dates and times of the Saints games won’t be announced until Wednesday, it is known that the team will … Continue reading →

Saints Draft Pick Series: The third round

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON-- New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham (80) runs after a reception against Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Leonard Johnson (29) in a NFL football game between the New Orleans Saints and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in New Orleans, La. Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013.

The Advocate continues the countdown to the 2014 NFL draft with the sixth in an eight-part series on the Saints’ top five selections -- round-by-round -- as chosen by Sheldon Mickles. The series will continue each week until the top five first-round selections are revealed on May 6 -- two days before the May 8-10 draft. ROUND … Continue reading →

Saints exercise fifth-year option on Pro Bowl DE Cameron Jordan

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick is pressured by Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan in the first half of the Saints' 31-21 loss Sunday, November 25, 2012, in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

As had been expected, the Saints exercised the fifth-year option on the contract of defensive end Cameron Jordan, who is coming off his first career Pro Bowl appearance, the NFL Players Association website revealed Monday. The 6-foot-4, 287-pound Jordan will earn a base salary of about $6.97 million in 2015 as a result of the fifth-year option. … Continue reading →

Robert Meachem re-signs with Saints, gets one-year deal

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON -- Saints receiver Robert Meachem scores a touchdown against the Buccaneers last season.

The Saints are bringing wide receiver Robert Meachem back for another season. The eight-year veteran, the team’s first-round draft pick in 2007, signed a one-year contract, the Saints announced Friday. Terms were not released, but Meachem likely will receive the veteran’s minimum of $855,000. Meachem rejoined the Saints just before the start of last season after being … Continue reading →

Saints host slew of defensive back draft prospects

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- Oklahoma Sooners defensive back Aaron Colvin signals 'no good' after Alabama kicker Cade Foster missed a field goal in the Allstate Sugar Bowl on Jan. 2 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Colvin was among several defensive back draft prospects who visited the Saints on Tuesday.

Though they were No. 2 against the pass last season, the New Orleans Saints packed their headquarters Tuesday with draft prospects who could further boost their secondary. Cornerbacks Justin Gilbert (Oklahoma State), Bradley Roby (Ohio State), Stanley Jean-Baptiste (Nebraska), Pierre Desir (Lindenwood), Aaron Colvin (Oklahoma) and Demetri Goodson (Baylor) all visited the Saints, a source … Continue reading →

Desir takes long road to visit with Saints on Tuesday

(source: AP)

Glancing over the names of the several defensive backs who visited the New Orleans Saints on Tuesday, one jumped out at me more than the others: Lindenwood University corner Pierre Desir. Desir was the only player out of that group who did not attend a Division I school. Yet at least one site that ranks draft prospects, CBSSports.com, projected him … Continue reading →

Saints Draft Pick Series: The Fourth Round

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- New Orleans Saints guard Jahri Evans (73) blocks Tampa Bay Buccaneers middle linebacker Mason Foster (59) during the first quarter Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

The Advocate continues the countdown to the 2014 NFL draft with the fifth in an eight-part series on the Saints’ top five selections -- round-by-round -- as chosen by Sheldon Mickles. The series will continue each week until the top five first-round selections are revealed on May 6 -- two days before the May 8-10 draft. ROUND … Continue reading →

The Saints Mount Rushmore Plus One

It took two sculptors, 14 years, hundreds of men and thousands of tons of dynamite deep in the heart of the Black Hills region of South Dakota to build Mount Rushmore, which celebrates the great contributions presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. The Advocate is taking the same skill, precision, passion and thought … Continue reading →

Louisville safety Calvin Pryor to visit Saints on Monday

Louisville's Calvin Pryor, left, and Stephan Robinson make a tackle against South Florida.AP Photo

The Saints may have already invested heavily in the position of safety, but that hasn’t discouraged them from meeting with one of the best prospects at that position in the upcoming draft. Louisville’s Calvin Pryor set up a visit with the Saints for Monday, an NFL source confirmed for The Advocate. NFL Network’s Gil Brandt first reported Pryor would visit … Continue reading →

Report: USC center Martin visited Saints

The Saints on Saturday were linked to another center who will be available in the upcoming draft. Southern California’s Marcus Martin recently visited New Orleans, and he did the same with the Philadelphia Eagles and Carolina Panthers, wrote Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun and National Football Post. He’s drawn second- to third-round projections. … Continue reading →

Boise State’s DeMarcus Lawrence to visit the Saints

Associated Press photo by JONATHAN BACHMAN -- New Orleans Saints

Saints coach Sean Payton has said his team always places a premium on good pass rushers, and one is set to tour their facilities. Boise State defensive end Demarcus Lawrence has set up a visit with the Saints, an NFL source confirmed to The Advocate on Friday. New Orleans, however, isn’t alone in its interest — the NFL Network’s … Continue reading →

Saints nose tackle Broderick Bunkley takes pay cut

File photo -- Saints nose tackle Broderick Bunkley, right, make sa tackle during practice last season.

Saints nose tackle Broderick Bunkley agreed to take a pay cut to create more than $2.8 million in salary cap space for the team, according to reports. Bunkley’s was supposed to be owed $4.5 million in salary and bonuses, but his base salary is now $1.3 million, the NFL Players Association website showed Wednesday. He will receive … Continue reading →

Saints release schedule for 2014 preseason

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON-- New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram makes a two point conversion Saturday in athe Saints' 23-15 loss to the Seahawks in an NFC divisional playoff game at CenturyLink Field in Seattle. Despite a costly fumble in the second quarter, Ingram rushed for 49 yards, and his improved play in the second half of the season bodes well for the Saints' future.

The Saints released some details of their 2014 preseason schedule Wednesday. The Saints open at the St. Louis Rams on a to-be-announced date. They follow that with a home game against the Tennessee Titans, also on a date to be determined. The Saints play at the Indianapolis Colts in a nationally televised game on CBS … Continue reading →

Falcons add safety Dwight Lowery, cornerback Josh Wilson.

ATLANTA — The Atlanta Falcons added two potential starters to their secondary by signing safety Dwight Lowery and cornerback Josh Wilson. Lowery has 41 career starts with the Jets and Jaguars. He started three games with Jacksonville in 2013 before suffering a concussion on the first play at Seattle on Sept. 22. He later was … Continue reading →

The Saints Draft Pick Series: The Fifth Round

New Orleans Saints punter Thomas Morstead (AP Photo/Patric Schneider)

The Advocate continues the countdown to the 2014 NFL draft with the fourth of an eight-part series on the Saints’ top five selections -- round-by-round -- as chosen by long-time Advocate sportswriter Sheldon Mickles. The series will continue each week until the top five first-round selections are revealed on May 6 -- two days before the May 8-10 draft. ROUND 5 1. … Continue reading →

Blank wants Falcons to be "tougher" against the Saints

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- New Orleans Saints defensive end Tom Johnson (96) pressures Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) as Falcons center Todd McClure (62) tries to block him in the second half of the Saints' 31-27 win over  Atlanta Sunday in the Superdome.

The already heated Atlanta Falcons-New Orleans Saints rivalry just got a little bit more "tougher" and possibly heated after some remarks made by Falcons owner Arthur Blank on an Atlanta radio station on Tuesday. According to ESPN on Tuesday, Blank said it bothered him that members of his team barely reacted when Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro was … Continue reading →

USC wide receiver Marqise Lee planning Saints visit

Southern California wide receiver Marqise Lee scores on an 80-yard pass play against Boston College during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Los Angeles, Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

There likely will be more, but at the very minimum, the Saints are hosting one wide receiver who many think could be selected late in the first round of the 2014 draft in May. USC’s Marqise Lee told the program Pro Football Talk Live he has visits set up with New Orleans and its NFC South rival, … Continue reading →