Fleur-de-Links: January 3, 2012

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Your daily collection of New Orleans Saints news and opinion. TODAY'S HEADLINE: Contracts of Pete Carmichael & Aaron Kromer expired at season's end. Both are now coaching free agents.

Tweets:

MT : Contracts of Saints' Carmichael& former interim HC Kromer both expired after this season, making them coaching free agents

Offseason time... Plenty of time for babies r us trips 😝

Nine-year-old YouTube football star to sit with Roger Goodell during Super Bowl:

Sperm donor fighting order to pay child support

Ya! RT : Excited the homie is in town n after texting @WhiteKylenotwitter he said we shall go dumb the entire wknd..

I'm headed to work out time to get my mind right it's been a good New Years

Goddamnit, the first new coach is ready to start assembling his staff. We need Payton back NOW.

Productivity at its finest lol

What's Chipper going on about? What happened with Florida "showing their asses"? And how does a grown man continue to call himself Chipper?

I can handle getting beat, but to show ur asses in front of the whole country? Sure hope the inmates ain't running the asylum down there!

This is my fav pic we took after the game.. We were joking and it came out ok

GREAT column from about THE linebacker of this generation (includes great comments from)

Ray Lewis joining Monday Night Countdown? Any chance he can "get rid of" Berman?

Good morning world and all who inhabit it

CAN SOMEONE TELL ME OUT OF ALL THESE COACHES WHOS GETTING FIRED WHY REX RYAN IS STILL PREPARING TO ADD TO HIS STAFF!!

He shouldve been on the top 3 coaches to get out of dodge!!!!!

Zach Strief talks about the 2012 season, the offseason & Sean Payton (VIDEO)

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Saints prepare for 2013:

Report: Contracts of New Orleans Saints assistants Pete Carmichael, Aaron Kromer have expired | NOLA.com
The contracts of two of the most valued members of the New Orleans Saints' coaching staff have expired, making offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael and offensive line coach/running game coordinator Aaron Kromer coaching free agents, according to a twitter report by ESPN's Adam Schefter. Schefter said the coaches' contracts expired at the end of the season.

Handwerger: Story that has player saying Spagnuolo should be fired a head-scratcher | wwltv.com New Orleans
To Lofton, the story was a head-scratcher, both for what it contained and for the fact that it was out there.

Saints to pick 15th in first round of NFL draft this spring | Black and Gold

Pete Carmichael interviewing for Chicago Bears job, source confirms ProFootballTalk.com report | NOLA.com
Saints offensive coordinator called all the plays this season with Payton suspended

New Orleans to pick 15th in 2013 NFL draft | Saints | The Advocate — Baton Rouge, LA
The New Orleans Saints are scheduled to have a pick in the top half of the first round of the NFL draft for the first time since 2009 when …

Jonathan Vilma, New Orleans Saints linebacker, takes shot at New York Jets - NYPOST.com
The Jets have set the standard in the NFL for one thing this season: anonymous player quotes.After an unnamed Saints player slammed defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo in a NOLA.com story...

How much would it hurt the New Orleans Saints if Pete Carmichael took another job? | NOLA.com
Saints question of the day

Five Saints on the cap bubble - NFC South Blog - ESPN
Will Smith: The defensive end has a $14.5 million cap figure, which is second only to Drew Brees. The Saints could free up $7.7 million by releasing Smith.

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Bountyfarce: Sean Payton still not reinstated

NFL should reinstate Saints Coach Sean Payton at once: James Varney | NOLA.com
Saints Coach Sean Payton should be reinstated immediately. After all, Feb. 3 is almost here, and aside from the simmering anger Super Bowl XLVII host city locals hold toward Commissioner Roger Goodell, what does the NFL have to lose?

Defense will be addressed upon Payton's return | New Orleans Saints | The Sun Herald
METAIRIE, La. -- Now that the most important Saints question has been answered -- the contract status of suspended head coach Sean Payton -- it's time to focus on the No. 2 issue: figure out what to do with the worst defense in NFL history and its battered defensive coordinator.

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Lagniappe:

New Orleans Saints name wide receiver Lance Moore 2012 Man of the Year | NOLA.com
Moore is nominated for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award

New Orleans Saints vs. Carolina Panthers play-by-play observations: Film Study Part 2 | NOLA.com
Detailed highlights from Saints' season-ending 44-38 loss to Panthers

This Date in Saints History: January 3rd
1988—The Saints played their first-ever playoff game at home versus the Vikings in the wild card round and lost 44-10. A then best-ever regular season of 12-3 (one game cancelled due to strike) was still a crowning achievement.

Adrian Peterson honored for greatest rushing month ever | ProFootballTalk
Adrian Peterson had 861 rushing yards in December, the most any player has ever gained in any month in NFL history. So it’s not exactly a surprise that he was chosen as the NFC’s offensive player of the month.

Peterson has a way to get Dickerson in the playoffs | ProFootballTalk
There’s a way Peterson can come for Dickerson without waiting until September. Peterson can make an assault on the single-game postseason rushing record of 248 yards.

Chiefs now look more likely than Cardinals to hire Andy Reid | ProFootballTalk
Two days ago, there were breathless reports out of Arizona that Andy Reid was very close to becoming the head coach of the Cardinals. Now it doesn't even appear that the Cardinals are the leading candidates for Reid's services.

Report: Ray Lewis agrees to deal to join ESPN | ProFootballTalk
It didn’t take long after Ray Lewis announced his retirement for him to line up his next gig. According to Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch, the Ravens linebacker will join ESPN’s herd of former players as an analyst.

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