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News » New Orleans Saints Notes, Quotes 2009-03-08

New Orleans Saints Notes, Quotes 2009-03-08

New Orleans Saints Notes, Quotes 2009-03-08
--In an eventful day, the Saints not only signed free-agent fullback Heath Evans, but they also informed incumbent Mike Karney he would be released Friday, the day of his wedding.

"The writing was on the wall for a long time," Karney said. "I didn't play much this year. They wanted to go in a different direction. There's nothing wrong with that. I can still play and play at high level. I'm confident in that.

"I've been in the league five years and they let me go now, so I get a chance to sign somewhere else. The guy they're bringing in, they think he can do better job and that's their prerogative. That's their deal and I respect that."

--Former Saints running back Deuce McAllister filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last week for a Nissan car dealership he owns in Jackson, Miss.

In a federal court filing, the Nissan financing division said McAllister, who is currently a free agent, owes more than $6.6 million -- as well as almost $300,000 in interest, plus other fees, after he defaulted on a deal with the company and exceeded his credit line.

McAllister said the bankruptcy filing is an attempt to hold on to his assets and he's looking for partners to help return him to solvency.

"It's basically the tough economic times that we're in," McAllister told The Associated Press. "(The difficulty) was pretty much standard over the last eight months, not only with gas prices, but with credit."

In a civil suit filed Feb. 20, Nissan claims it discovered during a July audit that McAllister had defaulted on payments of more than $560,000 owed to the company. The debt grew by $300,000 less than two weeks later.

The company also claimed McAllister exceeded his credit limit for new, used and demonstration vehicles by more than $1.6 million. McAllister said 95 percent of the debt Nissan alluded to is unsold vehicles sitting on the lot.

--Saints cornerback Mike McKenzie is off to a speedy recovery as he tries to come back once again after finishing the 2008 season on injured reserve for the second straight year.

McKenzie fractured his right kneecap in a Nov. 2 game at Atlanta and had surgery to put together the kneecap after he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in the same knee less than 11 months earlier.

McKenzie, who'll turn 33 in April, told the New Orleans Times-Picayune that his health is "great" and he's already working out and running. He said he plans to be full speed when the Saints begin their off-season conditioning program later this month.

"This doesn't compare at all to an ACL," said McKenzie. "As always, health is the key. I just want to keep getting stronger and be ready to roll."

--McKenzie declined to comment to the Times-Picayune about any talks he's had with the Saints about his role for the upcoming season or if he has restructured his contract.

The Saints were expected to try and re-do his deal, which has one year and $4.575 million remaining in salary and bonuses, to help create some cap space for the team to sign some free agents.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "There are two phases to this free agency. This initial phase is quieter than it has been in past years. The second phase is where all of a sudden some of your better bargains can become available. It'd be hard to say that once we sign a defensive player or two we're going to be done, because you don't know what becomes available a month from now." -- Saints coach Sean Payton, on his team's approach to free agency.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: March 8, 2009

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