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News » New Orleans Saints Notes, Quotes 2009-03-27


New Orleans Saints Notes, Quotes 2009-03-27


New Orleans Saints Notes, Quotes 2009-03-27
--NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said at the owners meetings he's been following the ongoing negotiations on a new lease agreement between the Saints and the state of Louisiana.


Goodell told the New Orleans Times-Picayune that he's gotten updates from the team, which has been talking with state officials about extending the current lease that is scheduled to expire after the 2010 season.

The commissioner said a new lease agreement between the Saints and the state would be "an important element" if New Orleans and the Saints organization submit a bid to host Super Bowl XLVII in 2013.

"I know they've had some productive dialogue," Goodell said of the talks. "I do think it's important for a long-term agreement for the Saints to be there, for the Saints and for Louisiana."

He added that if all the elements are in place, he would be in favor of bringing the title game back to New Orleans and the Superdome. The last time the city hosted the Super Bowl was in Feb. 2002.

--The Saints, who are still trying to shore up the back end of their secondary despite the signing of free agents Darren Sharper and Pierson Prioleau, may not have to look outside the building to find more help.

The coaching staff could be looking into moving third-year cornerback Usama Young to safety although coach Sean Payton stressed at the NFL owners meetings last week that it's still in the preliminary stages.

"In other words, he's a magnet on a grease board right now," Payton said. "And he doesn't do a football activity until really the first OTA (in May). So we still have plenty of time."

A 6-foot, 200-pounder, Young has shown some talent glimpses of talent since the Saints used one of their two third-round draft picks on him in 2007. He played in 15 games a year ago with two starts and recorded the first two interceptions of his career, but he excelled on special teams.

"We've not sat down and had this discussion, so I'm a little premature here, but I do think that he's a player that wants to play," Payton said. "He's a big, athletic guy with straight-line speed, probably not the quickness and agility maybe you would want at corner, but he can play in the kicking game."

--Payton said last week that the team is expected to re-sign third-string quarterback Joey Harrington soon.

Harrington, 30, backed up starter Drew Brees and backup Mark Brunell in 2008 after joining the team early in the season. Harrington is an unrestricted free agent, but Payton said they had agreed in principle on a deal a couple of weeks ago.

"I like him a lot," Payton said of Harrington, who could supplant Brunell as Brees' primary backup this year. "I still look at him as a young player. It's the one position that all of a sudden a player can have success in his 11th season."

--The Saints did not receive any additional draft picks when the NFL announced the awarding of compensatory picks at the owners meetings.

Compensatory draft picks are awarded to teams that lose more or better free agents than they acquire during the previous year. The Saints lost starting center Jeff Faine last off-season, but had a net gain when they signed cornerback Randall Gay, defensive end Bobby McCray and others.

Barring any trades, the Saints will have only four selections in the April 25-26 draft. They have one pick in the first round, two in the fourth and one in the seventh.

--Saints strength and conditioning coach Dan Dalrymple will kick off the team's off-season program on March 30.

Players will run and lift weights during the initial phase of the program, which will later incorporate classroom study as well as a series of on-field coaching sessions -- which are also known as organized team activities (OTAs).

A rookie minicamp will be held in early May with a full-squad minicamp scheduled for early June.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "New Orleans has been a great Super Bowl city, and I think with all that they've been through, they would do a terrific job. And it would be great for the community, and it would be great for the NFL." -- NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, on the possibility of bringing Super Bowl XLVII to New Orleans.



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: March 27, 2009

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Yeremiah Bell Name: Yeremiah Bell
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