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News » New Orleans Saints Notes, Quotes 2009-04-21

New Orleans Saints Notes, Quotes 2009-04-21

New Orleans Saints Notes, Quotes 2009-04-21
--WR Lance Moore had surgery on Tuesday to repair an injured left shoulder, but is expected to be ready for the start of training camp in late July.

Neworleans.com reported Wednesday night that Saints coach Sean Payton, while speaking to a men's group on the north shore of New Orleans, said Moore injured himself lifting weights in the team's offseason conditioning program and would need surgery.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported Thursday that Payton confirmed that Moore, a restricted free agent, had the shoulder repaired by Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala. In a text message to the Times-Picayune, Payton said Moore will miss a veteran minicamp in June but should be ready for training camp.

Moore, who led the Saints last season in receptions (79), receiving yards (928) and TD catches (10), received a one-year, $1.545 million tender offer from the team in February but hasn't signed it.

--Backup tackle Zach Strief and reserve cornerback Leigh Torrence, two of the four restricted free agents tendered by the Saints before the free agency signing period began, have accepted one-year deals from the club.

Saints general manager Mickey Loomis confirmed to the Baton Rouge Advocate on Tuesday that Strief and Torrence signed their tender offers. Strief will receive a salary of $1.545 million, while Torrence signed for $1.01 million.

However, right guard Jahri Evans and Moore are still unsigned. The Saints would receive first- and third-round picks for Evans and a second-rounder for Moore if they signed an offer sheet and the Saints declined to match. Moore's injury likely eliminated the possibility of any offer occurring, especially with Friday (April 17) the deadline for offer sheets.

Jerrold Colton, Evans' New Jersey-based attorney and agent, would not comment when contacted by The Advocate on whether Evans has received interest or visited any other teams.

Evans, who has started all 48 games since the Saints selected him in the fourth round of the 2006 draft, will receive a base salary of $2.792 million.

--The state of Louisiana and Saints are still negotiating a long-term Superdome lease with the hopes that they could come to an agreement on a new deal before the NFL owners meeting on May 18-20 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

At that meeting, the owners are expected to vote on the site of the 2013 Super Bowl, for which the city of New Orleans and Saints have submitted a bid. New Orleans will be vying with Phoenix and south Florida, so having a new lease agreement in place will be crucial for getting the game to return to the Crescent City for the first time since 2002.

Doug Thornton, the regional vice president of SMG, the company that manages the Superdome and the New Orleans Arena, said last week that negotiations are progressing and a deal could be struck soon.

"We are making progress," Thornton said. "Our negotiations continue. ... We hope to have all this wrapped up prior to the owners meeting in mid May.

"This is something that we have been working on now for over a year," he said. "These deals are fairly complex. There are long-term commitments by both parties, both the state and the Saints and it takes time to work through the details. At this point, I would say that there remains to be any major sticking points that remain."

The Saints current deal with the state of Louisiana expires at the end of the 2010 season. If a new deal isn't in place by the owners meetings, the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation would pull the Super Bowl bid.

--The Saints, who were 8-8 in 2008, will play three home games in prime time this season with contests against the Atlanta Falcons, New England Patriots and Dallas Cowboys in the Superdome.

The schedule has the Saints facing the Falcons, their NFC South archrival, on Nov. 2 and Patriots on Nov. 30 on ESPN's "Monday Night Football." They will also host the Cowboys on Saturday, Dec. 19 on the NFL Network.

In addition to the three prime-time contests, the Saints will play four games at 3:05 p.m. or 3:15 p.m. -- which could mean more national exposure -- in the first half of the schedule. They open the season at home on Sept. 13 against the Detroit Lions.

The Saints, who play nine games against 2008 playoff teams, have three stretches of back-to-back road games. They have the eighth-toughest schedule as their foes posted a .557 winning percentage in 2008.

"It's a fair but challenging schedule," Saints coach Sean Payton said in a statement. "There is a lot for the fans who follow our team to be excited about with the Monday night games and a Saturday night game. Those games are always fun for the fans and are a great environment for our players in the Superdome."

--For the second straight year, Saints coach Sean Payton beat the Easter bunny in the Crescent City Classic, a 10k road race held the day before Easter in downtown New Orleans.

Payton finished the 6.1-mile course in 63 minutes, about six minutes faster than a man who runs the race in a full bunny costume. Payton said he was asked about beating the rabbit in last year's race by "about 100 people."

Payton bested the rabbit, but he lost to his wife Beth. She finished in 60 minutes flat after pulling away from her husband when he stopped to get a drink of water and walked for a brief time.

"Now all of a sudden she's got me for the whole year," Payton told the New Orleans Times-Picayune. "She got about a block ahead, and I couldn't catch her. We had a bet going and she started running faster to make sure I wasn't catching up."

QUOTE TO NOTE: "There are a lot of factors that influence deals of this magnitude and that's one of the reasons this has taken a little longer than we had hoped. But we are making progress. We have made substantial progress. I think we are in a position to where very soon we will be able to make some announcements and it'll be very positive." -- SMG vice president Doug Thornton, on talks between the Saints and Louisiana on a new lease.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 21, 2009

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Paul Soliai Name: Paul Soliai
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