Saints News, 3/25/14: Long-Term Saints/Jimmy Graham Deal Likely To Happen Before April 22nd

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sport

Per Mike Florio at Pro Football Talk, "Per a league source, the current expectation is that the Saints and Graham will finalize a long-term contract before Graham pulls the pin on a grievance grenade." The grievance deadline is April 22nd. In other news, Coach Payton does a video interview with PFT where he talks about the Saints' free agency gains and losses so far this offseason. See the bottom of the article for the video.

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Saints News

Graham deal likely before April 22 grievance deadline | ProFootballTalk
Per a league source, the current expectation is that the Saints and Graham will finalize a long-term contract before Graham pulls the pin on a grievance grenade.

Morning report: Jimmy Graham deal within month? - ESPN
The report makes sense. It explains why Graham and agent Jimmy Sexton didn’t immediately rush to file the grievance (they still have the threat of doing so as leverage). And as I’ve suggested before, both sides would probably prefer to avoid putting so much leverage in the hands of a neutral third-party arbitrator.

Benson "confident" about a deal with Graham and future Super Bowl | Saints | The Advocate — Baton Rouge, LA
"He’s a hell of a good player, and he’s also a good person," Benson said. "I feel confident we’ll work out something. We just have a little bit more time to do it, that’s all."

New Orleans Saints' Jimmy Graham will now be penalized for dunking over goalposts, NFL officiating head says | NOLA.com
Dean Blandino, the head of officiating for the NFL, said it will be a penalty if a player dunks the football over the goalpost in an interview on "The Dan Patrick Show" on Tuesday. This will probably send New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham back to the drawing board as Graham is widely known for dunking the ball to celebrate a touchdown.

John DeShazier: Saints owner Tom Benson working hard to bring another Super Bowl to New Orleans
Orlando, Fla. – While the decision on which city will host Super Bowl LII in 2018 won’t be made until the NFL holds its spring league meeting in Atlanta on May 19-21, New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson said he has taken advantage of the opportunity at the league meetings this week to continue trying to swing votes in New Orleans’ favor.

Saints’ draft choices set - New Orleans Saints Blog - ESPN
The Saints have seven total picks: two in Round 5 because of their Darren Sproles trade with the Philadelphia Eagles and none in Round 7 because of last year’s Parys Haralson trade with the San Francisco 49ers.

About Jairus Byrd, Bills coach Doug Marrone tells Saints: ‘You’re going to love him’ | Black and Gold
"His play speaks for itself. He’s a proven playmaker in this league, and he’ll be very, very successful," Marrone said. "When you watch him play, … he hustles his butt off, and he puts himself in position to make those (takeaway) plays, and that’s a credit to him."

AFC East coaches talk about the challenges of facing Jairus Byrd
Rex Ryan, Joe Philbin and Doug Marrone talk about New Orleans Saints safety Jairus Byrd

John DeShazier: AFC coaches happy to see Jairus Byrd with the New Orleans Saints
Bills coach sings the praises of star safetNew Orleans Saints safety Jairus Byrd receives high marks from former coaches Doug Marrone, Mike Pettine | NOLA.com

Former Bills defensive coordinator and current Browns coach Mike Pettine on Jaiurs Byrd: 'He's the total package

Ranking the Saints Head Coaches 1 through 16

Bobby Hebert, giant colon, are stars of West Jefferson Medical Center event | NOLA.com
Former Saints quarterback and WWL radio talk show host Bobby Hebert, "The Cajun Cannon,'' discussed his family's battles with colon cancer at a Colon Cancer Awareness Month event at West Jefferson Medical Center. Guests could also walk through a giant interactive colon exhibit.

Saints Draft History Series: The best picks in the seventh round | Saints | The Advocate — Baton Rouge, LA
The Advocate continues the countdown to the 2014 NFL draft with the second of an eight-part series on the Saints’ top five selections -- ro…

Loomis discusses Saints’ flurry of moves - New Orleans Saints Blog - ESPN
Loomis also spoke highly of former Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins, who signed with the Eagles as a free agent. But Loomis said the Saints planned to let Jenkins go and try to upgrade with top free-agent safety Jairus Byrd, mainly because they want to create more turnovers. Loomis said Byrd's ball skills made him worth taking their "biggest shot" in free agency.

White, Stills lead Saints in performance pay - New Orleans Saints Blog - ESPN
White and Stills were both fifth-round draft picks (in 2012 and 2013, respectively). But they both played about 60 percent of the Saints’ snaps last year, with White starting six games and Stills starting 10. White received $212,448.55 in bonus pay, while Stills received $194,844.97.

Tomlin says Steelers’ pitch to ex-Saint Lance Moore was simple: Help us get Lombardi No. 7 | Black and Gold
"We just told him the truth, and that’s what we tell all free agents: who we are, how we do business, how we potentially see them fitting," Tomlin — who’s responsible for the newest of those trophies — said Monday at a meeting with the media covering the annual NFL owners meeting at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes hotel. "I think it fell in line with some of the things that he’s interested in doing as a professional.

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Darren Sharper In Jail

Judge refuses to release Darren Sharper from jail - ESPN
Sharper is awaiting trial in Los Angeles after pleading not guilty to charges that he raped and drugged two women last year. He was previously released on $1 million bail before being charged in Arizona with similar counts.

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NFL News

Refs will penalize players who dunk over the goal post | ProFootballTalk
As we noted a few days ago, the goal post dunk became a concern when Saints tight end (or wide receiver) Jimmy Graham knocked the goal post askew while dunking in Atlanta. The NFL is also considering making the uprights longer, which would make them more top-heavy and therefore potentially more likely to fall over entirely. That would be the NFL equivalent of a dunk that shatters the glass.

Bills owner Ralph Wilson Jr. passes away at age 95 | ProFootballTalk
Bills owner Ralph Wilson Jr., who founded the franchise in 1959, has passed away at age 95, club president Russ Brandon announced Tuesday. "I speak for everyone within the Bills organization when I say that we are all suffering a deep and profound sadness with the passing of our Hall of Fame ow...

Report: Falcons willing to move up from No. 6 in Round One | ProFootballTalk
The Falcons are not suitors for a quarterback. The big question, then, is whether any of the other five teams ahead of them are willing to take a passer, thus pushing the top talent at other positions down the board. The Falcons’ reported willingness to move up may suggest Atlanta believes it could have to grab an earlier spot to get its desired player.

Jim Kelly needs surgery for aggressive, spreading cancer | ProFootballTalk
Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly is preparing for another surgery related to his oral cancer. Kelly previously had a surgical procedure to remove part of his jaw and some of his teeth, but a recent follow-up revealed that he will need another surgery.

NFL refs will talk to officiating office during replay reviews | ProFootballTalk
The NFL has passed a new rule that it hopes will make instant replay more effective. League owners voted today to allow the referee to consult with members of the NFL officiating department during replay reviews.

NFL bans "roll up" blocks to the side of a player’s leg | ProFootballTalk
Defensive players' knees have just been given some extra protection. NFL owners voted today to ban "roll up" blocks to the side of a player's leg. These blocks were already illegal from behind, and now the owners have agreed to add the words "or side" to the rules preventing blocks to the knee fr...

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Video

VIDEO: Bills coach Doug Marrone still raves over New Orleans Saints safety Jairus Byrd: video - Video | NOLA.com
Despite losing safety Jairus Byrd in free agency to the Saints, Bills coach Doug Marrone couldn't deny during the NFL owners meetings in Orlando, Fla. what a special player he believes Byrd is and will be in New Orlean

VIDEO: Jets coach Rex Ryan says Rob Ryan fits perfect for New Orleans Saints, city's culture: video - Video | NOLA.com
Jets coach Rex Ryan says during the NFL owners meetings in Orlando, Fla. that Saints coach Sean Payton allows his brother Rob to be himself, which has aided in Rob's success in New Orleans

VIDEO: Browns coach Mike Pettine calls New Orleans Saints safety Jairus Byrd 'the total package:' video - Video | NOLA.com
Former Bills defensive coordinator Mike Pettine says at the NFL owners meetings in Orlando, Fla. how Jairus Byrd is one of the premier safeties in the NFL


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