NFC South: Korey Hall

Saints activate DE Will Smith

September, 8, 2012
NEW ORLEANS -- Defensive end Will Smith, who previously was suspended for the first four games, appears likely to play in Sunday’s season opener against the Washington Redskins.

The New Orleans Saints activated Smith onto their regular roster Saturday afternoon. The Saints also released receiver Adrian Arrington and fullback Korey Hall and placed offensive tackle Marcel Jones on injured reserve.

An appeals panel overturned Smith’s suspension on Friday and he likely will be used as New Orleans’ top pass rusher against Washington rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III on Sunday. Smith, linebacker Jonathan Vilma and two former New Orleans players were supposed to be suspended as part of what the NFL said was a bounty program by the Saints. But the appeals panel said commissioner Roger Goodell went outside his jurisdiction and has asked the league to re-think the disciplinary actions.

The Saints did not activate Vilma. Instead, they have used a roster exemption for the veteran linebacker. Vilma had been working to recover from a knee injury before his suspension started. His physical status is unclear, but it’s likely Vilma isn’t healthy enough to play.
This is the time of year when you hear a lot about offseason workouts. This is when teams can begin conditioning drills and get out onto the field to start working on football and that continues through minicamps and organized team activities.

It’s a great time to build chemistry. You’ll also hear a lot of coaches bragging about how almost all their players are participating in the workouts, which is great. But, in some cases, there’s a lot of money to be earned just for showing up and working out in the offseason.

I just got a look at all the offseason workout bonuses scheduled to be earned (if the players take part in a majority of the workouts) by NFC South players this year and there were some eye openers. Tampa Bay general manager Mark Dominik doesn’t use a lot of workout bonuses in the contracts he negotiates. But, when he does use them, they’re significant. Tight end Kellen Winslow and cornerback Eric Wright have the largest workout bonuses in the division for 2012 at $500,000 each. Offensive tackle Donald Penn is right behind them at $400,000 and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy is scheduled to collect $300,000. Linebacker Quincy Black has a $250,000 bonus and defensive tackle Amobi Okoye is slated to make $200,000. Those six are the only Buccaneers with workout bonuses this year, but they come to a total of $2.15 million.

Carolina general manager Marty Hurney and New Orleans general manager Mickey Loomis are much more liberal in their use of workout bonuses. The Saints and Panthers each have 21 players scheduled to earn workout bonuses this year.

Carolina’s scheduled workout bonuses add up to $2.055 million. I won’t list anyone under six figures. But here are the guys who can earn big money. Charles Johnson, Jon Beason, DeAngelo Williams, Ryan Kalil and Ron Edwards each are scheduled to make $250,000. Charles Godfrey, James Anderson, Olindo Mare and Garry Williams each can earn $100,000.

If all the New Orleans players take part in enough workouts, the Saints will have to pay out $2.381 million. Sedrick Ellis leads the Saints with a $250,000 workout bonus. Jahri Evans, Lance Moore and Scott Shanle each are scheduled to make $200,000 and Will Smith is slated to make $150,000. Marques Colston, Roman Harper, Jabari Greer, Jermon Bushrod, Jonathan Vilma, Malcolm Jenkins, Devery Henderson, Pierre Thomas, David Thomas, Korey Hall and Will Herring each are scheduled to make $100,000.

Apparently, Atlanta’s Thomas Dimitroff, who probably works out more (he rides a bike religiously) than any NFC South general manager, doesn’t believe in workout bonuses. Dimitroff has used them very sparingly in the past. This year, there’s not a single Atlanta player schedule to earn a workout bonus.
ATLANTA – The New Orleans Saints will be without injured running back Chris Ivory (hamstring) and cornerback Patrick Robinson (stomach).

Running back Mark Ingram, who had missed two games with an injury, is active and likely will be used in a rotation with Darren Sproles and Pierre Thomas. With Robinson out, Tracy Porter and Jabari Greer will start at cornerback and the Saints likely will use Leigh Torrence as the nickelback.

Ivory and Robinson join linebacker Jonathan Vilma (knee), who already had been declared out on Sunday’s inactive list. Also inactive for the Saints are fullback Korey Hall, tackle Ray Willis, receiver Adrian Arrington and defensive end Turk McBride.

Inactives for the Saints

November, 6, 2011
NEW ORLEANS -- We already told you middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma (knee) has been declared inactive for the game with Tampa Bay.

The other inactives for the Saints are running back Mark Ingram, cornerback Johnny Patrick, fullback Korey Hall, tackle Ray Willis, receiver Adrian Arrington and defensive end Jeff Charleston.

I'll be back with Tampa Bay's inactives in just a few minutes.

Hitting the NFC South links

August, 9, 2011
METAIRIE, La. -- As we wait for the New Orleans Saints to hold a late-afternoon practice, let’s take a run through the NFC South headlines.

D. Orlando Ledbetter reports that Garrett Reynolds has a commanding lead in the battle for the starting job at right guard. That’s the position that came open when Harvey Dahl left for St. Louis via free agency. This report echoes everything I heard when I was in Flowery Branch last week. The Falcons are very happy with what they’ve seen of Reynolds so far. With second-year pro Mike Johnson missing time with a concussion, Reynolds appears to have the job pretty much wrapped up.

There were high hopes for defensive tackle Ron Edwards when he signed with the Carolina Panthers as a free agent. He was supposed to be an immediate starter and an instant upgrade over anything else the Panthers have had at defensive tackle the past few seasons. But a torn right triceps muscle has put a damper on all that. Edwards had surgery on the arm and it’s unclear if he’ll be able to play at all this season.

Mike Triplett reports that the Saints have made it clear that free-agent fullback Heath Evans won’t be returning. They’re planning to replace him with Korey Hall.

Anwar S. Richardson writes that Tampa Bay backup quarterback Josh Johnson will use the preseason as an audition. Johnson can become an unrestricted free agent next season. As long as Josh Freeman is around, Johnson doesn’t really have a shot at playing time in Tampa Bay, but he’s talented enough to attract attention from other teams in the future. He just needs to put together some strong game film while he has the chance in the preseason.

Carolina owner Jerry Richardson, who is getting very chatty after years of staying pretty quiet, has a nickname for quarterback Jimmy Clausen. It’s “Doughboy’’ and that’s a shot at the quarterback’s physique. Richardson also said Steve Smith is getting near the end of his career and hopes the receiver ends on the best possible route.

Falcons-Packers: Final injury report

January, 14, 2011
I just received the final injury reports on the Falcons and Packers for Saturday night’s playoff game. Let’s take a look.

Atlanta. Cornerback Brian Williams (knee) is doubtful and did not practice all week. That means Christopher Owens likely will work as the nickel back. Atlanta has six other guys on the injury report and they all are listed as questionable. They are defensive end John Abraham (groin), defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux (shoulder), safety Thomas DeCoud (ankle), linebacker Curtis Lofton (knee), center Todd McClure (ankle) and receiver Roddy White (knee). But I think you’ll see all six of those guys playing Saturday. They all went through the full practice Friday after being limited on Wednesday and Thursday.

Green Bay. The Packers are listing safety Atari Bigby (groin), fullback Korey Hall and offensive lineman Jason Spitz (calf) as questionable, and have declared linebacker Frank Zombo (knee) as out. They have eight other guys on the injury report, but all of those are listed as probable.
The Falcons and the Packers just sent out their first injury reports for the week for Saturday night’s playoff game. Let’s take a look.

Atlanta. The Falcons appear pretty healthy after having a first-round bye. They listed seven players on the injury report, but only cornerback Brian Williams (knee) did not take part in Wednesday’s practice. Defensive end John Abraham (groin), defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux (shoulder), safety Thomas DeCoud (ankle), linebacker Curtis Lofton (knee), center Todd McClure (ankle) and receiver Roddy White (knee) all took part in practice on a limited basis. The Falcons frequently rested Abraham and McClure in practices during the regular season. Lofton, Babineaux and White were all dealing with their injuries later in the season and it wasn’t uncommon for them to sit out or practice on a limited basis near the end of the regular season.

Green Bay. The Packers have 11 players on the injury report and three of them participated fully in practice. Only linebacker Frank Zombo (knee) and offensive lineman Jason Spitz (calf) sat out completely. Safety Atari Bigby (groin), tackle Bryan Bulaga (shoulder), tackle Chad Clifton (knee), fullback Korey Hall (knee), defensive end Cullen Jenkins (calf) and linebacker Clay Matthews (calf) practiced on a limited basis.