NFC South: Michael Higgins

Most significant move: The fact the Saints didn’t release or put Jonathan Vilma on injured reserve or the physically unable to perform list is a very strong sign that the veteran linebacker is expected to be healthy early in the season. That’s very significant. Vilma may be nearing the end of his career, but he still is the emotional leader of this defense and his mere presence makes this unit stronger.

Going in a different direction: Courtney Roby had been a fixture on special teams since his arrival in 2008. But the Saints have some younger, more athletic guys, like Rafael Bush, they want to get involved on special teams. Roby’s value also was hurt by the fact he brought little as a wide receiver. The team elected to keep Andy Tanner over Roby because Tanner has some upside as a receiver.

What’s next: After losing outside linebackers Will Smith and Victor Butler to injuries, the Saints could look at the waiver wire to add some more help for the pass rush.

Saints moves: Released WR Courtney Roby, DE Jay Richardson, CB Chris Carr, S Jim Leonhard. Waived QB Ryan Griffin, WR Preston Parker, FB Austin Johnson, WR, Saalim Hakim, G Elliott Mealer, TE Keavon Milton, TE Michael Higgins, G Andrew Tiller, C Jeremiah Warren, LB Ray Shipman, LB Rufus Johnson, DT Isaako Aaitui, S Jerico Nelson, LB Baraka Atkins, T Marcel Jones, CB Korey Lindsey and CB Jumal Rolle. Placed C Eric Olsen on injured reserve.

Reviewing NFC South free agents

March, 7, 2013
3/07/13
10:42
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We’ve shown you the lists of potential NFC South free agents before. But let’s do it again because there have been some minor moves and the free-agency period is getting ready to start Tuesday.

Here’s the list of potential free agents for all four NFC South teams:

Atlanta Falcons. Tony Gonzalez, Brent Grimes, Sam Baker, William Moore, Will Svitek, Mike Cox, Todd McClure, Luke McCown, Christopher Owens, Mike Peterson, Garrett Reynolds, Lawrence Sidbury and Vance Walker all can become unrestricted free agents. Michael Palmer can become a restricted free agent.

Carolina Panthers. The potential unrestricted free agents are Derek Anderson, Antwan Applewhite, Gary Barnidge, Dwan Edwards, Ben Hartsock, Sherrod Martin, Captain Munnerlyn, Louis Murphy and Mike Pollak. Richie Brockel can become an exclusive-rights free agent. Andre Neblett, Nate Ness and Jason Phillips are scheduled to become restricted free agents.

New Orleans Saints. Jermon Bushrod, Jonathan Casillas, Chase Daniel, Sedrick Ellis, Devery Henderson, Ramon Humber, Elbert Mack, Turk McBride, Will Robinson, Courtney Roby and Scott Shanle can become unrestricted free agents. Brian De La Puente, Justin Drescher, Junior Galette and Chris Ivory are scheduled to become restricted free agents. Eric Olsen and Michael Higgins can become exclusive-rights free agents.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Ronde Barber, Dallas Clark, Michael Bennett, E.J. Biggers, Andrew Economos, Roy Miller, Roscoe Parrish, Sammie Stroughter and Jeremy Trueblood can become unrestricted free agents. LeGarrette Blount, Jacob Cutrera, Corvey Irvin and Daniel Te’o-Nesheim are scheduled to become restricted free agents.

NFC South evening update

February, 14, 2013
2/14/13
6:18
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Time to take a run through some odds and ends from around the division:

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

Pete Prisco tops his list of under-the-radar free agents with Arizona cornerback Greg Toler. In a year when there aren’t a lot of big-name cornerbacks available (and those that are come with question), Toler is a guy worth keeping an eye on. The Bucs have a desperate need at cornerback. They need to add several and they aren’t all going to come through the draft.

There has been some previous talk about a reunion of the Bennett brothers before and this will fuel it more. Martellus Bennett, the tight end for the Giants, tweeted that he would like to stay in New York. But he added that his next choice would be to play with his brother Michael, who has been with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but can also become an unrestricted free agent. The Bucs are likely to make a strong attempt to keep Michael Bennett. They also could be in the market for a tight end if they don’t re-sign Dallas Clark, and Martellus Bennett could be a nice fit.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

The Saints have re-signed safety Rafael Bush, tight end Michael Higgins and guard Eric Olsen. This was a mere formality. All three were exclusive-rights free agents and didn’t have any alternative. But this shows the Saints’ front office is hard at work and that means some moves to free up more than $20 million in salary-cap space will be coming soon.

CAROLINA PANTHERS

Bryan Strickland writes that the recent signing of Colin Cole doesn’t mean the Panthers will ignore defensive tackle in the draft. Cole hasn’t played in the NFL since 2010. If he gives the Panthers anything at all, it’s a bonus. Defensive tackle still remains one of this team’s biggest needs and the Panthers better address it in the draft.

ATLANTA FALCONS

Owner Arthur Blank will serve as honorary chairman Saturday when the Black College Football Hall of Fame holds its annual enshrinement.

Looking at New Orleans' free agents

February, 11, 2013
2/11/13
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Time to continue our look at the NFC South’s potential free agents with the New Orleans Saints.

Their list includes left tackle Jermon Bushrod, linebacker Jonathan Casillas, backup quarterback Chase Daniel, defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis, receiver Devery Henderson, linebacker Ramon Humber, cornerback Elbert Mack, defensive end Turk McBride, tackle Will Robinson, receiver Courtney Roby and linebacker Scott Shanle. Center Brian De La Puente, center Justin Drescher, defensive end Junior Galette and running back Chris Ivory can be restricted free agents. Safety Rafael Bush, guard Eric Olsen and tight end Michael Higgins can be exclusive-rights free agents.

The big names are Bushrod, who has made himself into a Pro Bowler, and Ellis, a former first-round pick. Although the Saints have major salary-cap issues, they are likely to at least make an attempt to keep Bushrod. But it’s important to remember the Saints aren’t like most other teams when it comes to their philosophy on paying offensive linemen. They have a history of paying more to guards (see Jahri Evans and Ben Grubbs) than they do to tackles and Bushrod could get big money on the open market.

Ellis never has lived up to his draft status and, with the Saints switching to a 3-4 defense, I’m not sure he’s a good fit for the scheme.

Henderson and Shanle used to be key players. But age started to catch up to them last season and I don’t see the Saints making a big push to keep them.

Saints announce practice squad

September, 2, 2012
9/02/12
3:44
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I was mildly surprised that tight end Michael Higgins did not make the New Orleans Saints' 53-man roster.

I thought he did some good things in the preseason and would be backing up Jimmy Graham and David Thomas. But the Saints elected to keep veteran Daniel Graham as their third tight end.

Higgins is back with the Saints on Sunday. The team announced he has been signed to the practice squad. Receiver Andy Tanner, safety Jerico Nelson, cornerback Nick Hixson, guard Harland Gunn, guard Ricky Henry, linebacker Ezra Butler and defensive end Braylon Broughton also were signed to the practice squad.
METAIRIE, La. -- As he prepares for his third NFL season, it sounds as if New Orleans tight end Jimmy Graham has figured out the secret to NFL success.

"I was told to never tug on Superman’s cape," Graham said.

He was talking about quarterback Drew Brees. Graham noted how the quarterback challenged him to a sprint race at the start of training camp and said he let Brees win. Graham was partly joking, but there was some deep wisdom in his words.

More than ever, the Saints are Brees’ team. They’ve been through an offseason unlike one any other team has faced. They’ve been through the painful drama of the bounty scandal and they’ll move forward without coach Sean Payton, who is suspended for the season, and general manager Mickey Loomis, who is suspended for the first eight games.

Brees, the league's highest-paid player, is coming off a season in which he set a NFL single-season record for most passing yards. No, let other teams try to tug on Brees’ cape. If the Saints really are going to endure all this adversity successfully, they need Brees’ skill and leadership more than ever. They need to ride the coattails of the most positive thing they have at the moment.

Brees knows this high-flying offense as well as anyone, including Payton. The Saints remain loaded at offensive skill positions. There’s little doubt this team still is going to score a lot, and that alone will keep it competitive.

But Brees can’t do everything by himself. Even before the word "bounty" started flying in March, the Saints knew they had to overhaul their defense. That became clear in last season’s playoff loss to San Francisco. That’s why defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo was hired. Predecessor Gregg Williams had a gambling philosophy, going all-out to produce turnovers. The negative side effect was that the Saints gave up too many big plays.

Spagnuolo brings a more balanced philosophy. Sure, he wants turnovers, but he also wants to be able to shut down offenses from time to time. A big theme of this camp is the installation of Spagnuolo’s defense. Even though that’s not his side of the ball, Brees shows a lot of interest in the defense. Even in camp, the Saints are implementing game plans.

“[Spagnuolo] is going to try to find every flaw, just like we are going to do to them,’’ Brees said. “Along the way, I am certainly going to be picking his brain as to what he is seeing with our offense, how we can improve. That is how you help one another. That is a habit that we got into, me talking to the defensive guys, even if it is just the secondary guys, saying, 'You give away that blitz whenever you do this.' We are competing against each other, but in the end we are on the same team. I want them to be able to go out and have as much success as possible, just like they want us, on game day, to have as much success as possible.”

Maybe that’s the best way to improve the New Orleans defense. Practice against Superman every day. After you’ve been through that, everything else should be easy.

[+] EnlargeNew Orleans' Mark Ingram
Derick E. Hingle/US PRESSWIREMark Ingram rushed for 474 yards and five touchdowns during his rookie season with the Saints.
THREE HOT ISSUES

1. Mark Ingram’s playing time. Fan expectations for Ingram might be significantly higher than the team's. That’s somewhat understandable, because the Saints traded back into the first round in 2011 to draft Ingram. He played at a college powerhouse (Alabama) and won a Heisman Trophy. Instant stardom was expected by fans, but it didn’t turn out that way in Ingram’s rookie season.

He finished with 122 carries for 474 yards and five touchdowns. Injuries were part of the reason his numbers weren’t bigger. But even before the injuries, Ingram shared playing time with Darren Sproles and Pierre Thomas, and Chris Ivory did a nice job joining the rotation after Ingram’s injury problems started. Ingram had a couple of offseason surgeries and said he’s completely healthy.

But that doesn’t mean Ingram suddenly is going to become a 300-carry guy. New Orleans’ offense is based on diversity, and that’s not going to change. The Saints aren’t going to take playing time away from Sproles, who set an NFL record for all-purpose yards last season, and Thomas is going to play because he has earned it with his performance.

Assuming Ingram stays healthy, I expect him to get more carries than last season, but a 200-carry season for about 800 yards is a reasonable expectation.

2. Will the linebackers be better than last season? I think they’ll be markedly better. Many believe the season-long suspension of Jonathan Vilma is going to hurt the Saints. If this were two or three years ago, I’d agree. But Vilma was bothered by knee problems last season, and his age seemed to be catching up to him. I think free-agent addition Curtis Lofton is an upgrade over Vilma in the middle. In fact, I think Lofton is pretty similar to what Vilma was two or three years ago. The Saints will be just fine in the middle.

Plus, the Saints didn’t sit still at outside linebacker. They signed free agents David Hawthorne and Chris Chamberlain. It looks as if Hawthorne is well on his way to winning a starting job. That leaves Chamberlain competing with Scott Shanle, Will Herring and Jonathan Casillas for the other starting job. There’s no true favorite here, and Shanle is the fallback option as the safe choice because he’s smart and dependable. But Chamberlain, Herring and Casillas are more athletic and at least come with the possibility of producing big plays. The hope is that one of those three can step forward to win the starting job.

3. Can the offensive line, minus Carl Nicks, be as good as last season? Nicks took the big money and left for Tampa Bay in free agency. Losing a player many scouts consider the best guard in the NFL must take a toll. But the Saints already had Jahri Evans, who might be the closest thing to Nicks. Loomis did a nice job getting Ben Grubbs to replace Nicks. Grubbs isn’t quite on the Nicks/Evans level, but he’s an above-average player and came at a much lower salary than Nicks. The Saints build their offensive line around the interior, and Evans and Grubbs will form a very strong guard tandem.

Brian de la Puente did a nice job taking over at center last year and should be fine with Grubbs and Evans surrounding him. The tackles are more of a question. The Saints are sticking with Jermon Bushrod on the left side and Zach Strief on the right. They’re serviceable, but Bushrod and Strief aren’t all-pros, and the presence of Evans and Grubbs should be enough to keep this offensive line among the better ones in the league.

REASON FOR OPTIMISM

Spagnuolo’s history. There is legitimate concern about the pass rush, because Spagnuolo likes it to come mostly from his front four. Aside from defensive end Will Smith, who will serve a four-game suspension at the start of the season, the Saints don’t have a proven pass-rusher. Many fans are worked up about the potential of Junior Galette and converted linebacker Martez Wilson. Those guys could turn into something, but maybe fans aren’t looking in the right direction.

Second-year pro Cameron Jordan might be a big factor. Yeah, I know that sounds like a stretch because Jordan had one sack as a rookie, but he was a first-round pick and still has plenty of untapped potential. There’s more than that, though. Look at Spagnuolo’s past. When he became defensive coordinator for the New York Giants in 2007, Justin Tuck had gone through two NFL seasons with one sack. In Spagnuolo’s first season, Tuck had 10. In 2008, Tuck recorded 12.

If Spagnuolo can get anything close to double-digit sacks from Jordan, he may have short- and long-term answers for his pass rush.

REASON FOR PESSIMISM

How much adversity can one team take? The Saints will use all that happened to them in the offseason as a rallying cry, providing strong motivation. But it’s tough for any team to ride one emotion (anger, in this case) for an entire season. This franchise has been through a lot, and you have to worry about that taking a toll at some point.

[+] EnlargeNew Orleans' Drew Brees and Tom Benson
Derick E. Hingle/US PRESSWIREWith a new contract and instability in the coaching staff, Drew Brees will be asked to be even more of a leader for Tom Benson's Saints.
You also have to worry about the Saints being a target for opponents, especially those who spent the past few months hearing that the bounty program had targeted some of their own players. Then throw in the fact that assistant head coach Joe Vitt, who has run the team in Payton’s absence, must serve a six-game suspension at the start of the season. At that point, the Saints are expected to make another of their assistants the acting head coach. Yes, this is a veteran team with outstanding leadership, but it sure looks like a lot of things are stacked against the Saints.

OBSERVATION DECK

  • There was a lot of buzz about cornerback Marquis Johnson in the first few days of camp. He made some nice plays and usually was around the ball. The Saints hope second-year pro Johnny Patrick can be their No. 3 cornerback after starters Jabari Greer and Patrick Robinson. But Johnson has a chance to compete with Patrick and may have one slight advantage. The third-year player spent his first two seasons in St. Louis, where Spagnuolo was the coach. Johnson knows the system, and that might be why he’s off to a fast start in camp. If he can sustain it, he’ll have a chance to move past Patrick. At worst, Johnson has a chance to be the fourth cornerback and a key player on special teams.
  • The Saints have almost an embarrassment of riches at kicker. They have Garrett Hartley back from an injury that kept him out last season and veteran John Kasay, who filled in nicely for Hartley. Hartley and Kasay each have made a lot of big kicks in their careers. Although Kasay is 42, he’s not showing signs of slowing. Hartley has the stronger leg, but Kasay has been a model of consistency throughout his career. The Saints will let this competition play throughout camp. If it ends in a dead heat, it might be the toughest call of all when it’s time to trim the roster. Brought in by Loomis, Hartley has earned a spot in franchise history with some clutch kicks. But Loomis and Kasay go all the way back to the early 1990s, when they were together in Seattle.
  • There’s been a lot of talk about New Orleans’ young wide receivers early in camp. Adrian Arrington, Nick Toon, Joe Morgan, Andy Tanner and Chris Givens have made spectacular catches. But let’s keep that in perspective. Those catches came before the Saints put pads on and before defenders could hit. The Saints are looking for fourth and fifth receivers, but let’s not anoint any of these guys yet. The preseason games will determine who wins the final roster spots at receiver. Arrington’s entering his third season, and it’s time for him to start showing something. Toon comes in after a solid career at Wisconsin. They probably are the favorites to make the roster at this point. But Morgan, Tanner and Givens might be able to change the pecking order if they can make catches in traffic in preseason games.
  • The Saints thought they might get an eventual starter when they drafted Charles Brown in 2010. There was even hope that he might turn into the long-range solution at left tackle. That hasn’t come close to happening. Bushrod has settled in nicely at left tackle. The Saints hoped Brown at least would be able to start at right tackle. But that hasn’t happened, either. Strief beat out Brown for the starting job last season. When Strief was injured, Brown got playing time, but his play wasn't pretty. (If you don’t believe me, look at the tape of the loss to the Rams.) The Saints still say that Strief and Brown are competing for the starting job this season, but Strief has received all of the first-team work, and I didn't hear any buzz at all about Brown from coaches. As a matter of fact, I’m not sure Brown even will be on the roster when the regular season starts.
  • Speaking of offensive linemen who could be on the bubble, don’t forget Matt Tennant. The Saints drafted Tennant in 2010, thinking he'd be the heir apparent to Jonathan Goodwin at center. It hasn’t worked out that way. When Goodwin left via free agency last year, the Saints took an early look at Tennant and quickly signed Olin Kruetz, the former Bears star. When Kruetz abruptly decided to retire, the Saints didn’t turn back to Tennant. They turned to de la Puente, who now has a strong grip on the starting job. Like Brown, Tennant could be fighting for a roster spot. The Saints used to have a good reputation for finding offensive linemen beyond the first round of the draft (Evans, Nicks and Bushrod), but Brown and Tennant may have eroded that trend.
  • The Saints appear set with Graham and David Thomas at tight end. Graham is a great pass-catcher, and Thomas is a jack of all trades. But keep an eye on Michael Higgins, who spent much of last year on the practice squad before getting promoted to the regular roster late in the season. Higgins already has demonstrated he can block, and showed signs of being a good receiver early in camp. Thomas has had injury problems, and the Saints may not want to overuse him. Higgins could provide another alternative.
  • There has been talk that strong safety Roman Harper might not be a great fit in Spagnuolo’s defense because he isn’t known for great coverage skills. But I believe Spagnuolo will find a way to make this defense work for Harper. There’s really not an alternative behind him. His backup is Jonathon Amaya, whose only claim to fame is that he was part of the Reggie Bush trade.
METAIRIE, La. -- I just finished a news story for our main NFL page on this, but it’s well worth sharing here.

Suspended New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton still is watching the team. Well, not really. A huge photo of Payton was put up in the team’s indoor practice facility. It’s on a sideline wall at right about midfield and it shows Payton with a glare on his face. At the bottom of the photo are the words, “Do your job."

“That was Dallas Clark’s third-quarter catch in the Super Bowl and [Payton was] looking at me,’’ assistant head coach Joe Vitt said with a chuckle when asked to describe Payton’s look. “Every player on our team has gotten that look.’’

Vitt said putting the Payton photo up was the idea of team owner Tom Benson. Vitt said numerous players said to him that they had the same reaction -- that Payton was watching them. Although Payton is not allowed to have any contact with anyone employed by the Saints during his suspension, his presence still is felt beyond the photo. The team’s media guide features Payton’s photo and biography near the front and he’s still listed as head coach on the official training camp roster.

The “Do your job’’ message is the same one Vitt said Payton gave him as he left to begin his suspension. Apparently, the photo is a way of reminding all the players and coaches to do their jobs.

I’ll have much more on Saints’ camp on Monday when we run our Camp Confidential profile on the team, but I’ll share a couple of quick notes from Friday’s practice here.
  • Longtime NFL receiver Isaac Bruce, a close friend of Vitt’s, visited with the team for the second straight day. Vitt called Bruce one of the best players and people he ever has coached.
  • The Saints practiced indoors, due to weather, for the second straight day. Vitt said he’s hopeful the team can get outside in front of its fans on Saturday.
  • Tight end David Thomas sat out practice with a lower-back strain. Vitt said Thomas is expected to return to practice soon.
  • Running back Mark Ingram did not take part in team drills. Vitt said that was by design and the team is proceeding cautiously with Ingram as he comes back from knee and foot issues.
  • Backup tight end Michael Higgins had several nice catches and drew praise from Vitt after practice.

Ingram, Casillas out for Saints

December, 26, 2011
12/26/11
7:21
PM ET
NEW ORLEANS -- The Saints will be without several injured players for the “Monday Night Football’’ game with the Atlanta Falcons.

No big surprises since all three of these were pretty much expected. Running back Mark Ingram, linebacker Jonathan Casillas and defensive end Turk McBride have been declared inactive.

Also inactive for the Saints are cornerback Leigh Torrence, offensive tackle William Robinson, tight end Michael Higgins and receiver Adrian Arrington.

Chris Ivory inactive for Saints

December, 4, 2011
12/04/11
7:27
PM ET
NEW ORLEANS -- Running back Chris Ivory is inactive for Sunday night’s game against the Detroit Lions.

Ivory is healthy, but the Saints made him inactive last week as well. They’ve been using Darren Sproles, Pierre Thomas and rookie Mark Ingram in a backfield rotation.

Also inactive for the Saints are receiver Adrian Arrington, cornerback Johnny Patrick, linebacker Martez Wilson, lineman Will Robinson, defensive end Turk McBride and tight end Michael Higgins.

Linebacker Jonathan Vilma, who had been out with a knee injury, is active and is expected to start.

The inactives for Detroit are safety Louis Delmas, defensive back Chris Houston, quarterback Drew Stanton, defensive end Lawrence Jackson, guard Leonard Davis, running back Aaron Brown and cornerback Brandon McDonald are inactive.

Vilma, Ivory inactive for Saints

November, 28, 2011
11/28/11
7:12
PM ET
NEW ORLEANS -- Linebacker Jonathan Vilma and running back Chris Ivory will not play for the New Orleans Saints on Monday night.

Vilma has been sidelined by a knee injury. Ivory is healthy, but the Saints elected to activate only Darren Sproles, Mark Ingram and Pierre Thomas for this game.

The other inactives for the Saints are offensive tackle William Robinson, tight end Michael Higgins, receiver Adrian Arrington and defensive end Turk McBride.

Around the NFC South

November, 23, 2011
11/23/11
11:02
AM ET
Time for a stroll through the NFC South headlines.

The New Orleans Saints reportedly placed tight end David Thomas on injured reserve and promoted tight end Michael Higgins. They also added tight end Daniel Hardy, a seventh-round draft pick by Tampa Bay this year, to the practice squad. Thomas was a jack of all trades last season. But he wasn’t really a factor this year as he had problems with concussions. The Saints have used John Gilmore in his place at times and let fullback Jed Collins take on some of Thomas’ blocking duties.

Atlanta receiver Julio Jones said he’s not sure if he’ll play Sunday. Jones has missed time with a hamstring injury. It appears he’s close to being able to return, but how much he practices the rest of this week will provide a big clue on Jones’ status.

Carolina rookie Kealoha Pilares has won the NFC special Teams Player of the Week award after returning a kickoff for a touchdown against Detroit. Pilares is the first NFC South player to earn the weekly special teams award this season.

Stephen Holder reports that the Buccaneers fear defensive end Michael Bennett may miss some time with an injury. We’ll learn more on Bennett’s situation later Wednesday when coach Raheem Morris meets with the media. If Bennett is going to miss some games, we could see a lot more of rookie Da’Quan Bowers.

More NFC South transactions

September, 4, 2011
9/04/11
3:13
PM ET
Let’s catch up on a few more transactions that have come out Sunday.

As expected, the Bucs didn’t sit still at linebacker. They reportedly have signed Zac Diles, who was released by St. Louis. Diles fits the profile of what the Bucs were looking for in a backup for rookie middle linebacker Mason Foster. They wanted someone with experience, but not an older player. Diles also played at Kansas State when Tampa Bay coach Raheem Morris was an assistant.

Diles made 30 career starts while with the Houston Texans. He can play the middle or strong-side linebacker. We don’t know the flip side of this move yet. But the Bucs could be adding more players, and that would mean more releases.

In other news, the New Orleans Saints signed eight players to their practice squad. Linebacker Nate Bussey, quarterback Sean Canfield, tight end Michael Higgins, cornerback Terrail Lambert, defensive tackle Swanson Miller, long snapper Kyle Nelson, center Cecil Newton and receiver Andy Tanner, who all spent time with the Saints this summer, were signed. Newton is the brother of Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.
The Saints just sent out their official list of undrafted rookie free agents they say they’ve agreed to terms with. Let’s take a quick run through the list.
  • Isa Abdul Quddus, safety, Fordham
  • Harold Beilby, offensive tackle, Marian (Ind.)
  • John Chiles, wide receiver, Texas
  • Ryan Colburn, quarterback, Fresno State
  • Jarred Fayson, wide receiver, Illinois
  • Harry Flaherty, tight end, Princeton
  • C.J. Gable, running back, Southern California
  • Michael Galatas, wide receiver, Millsaps
  • Josh Gatlin, cornerback,North Dakota State
  • Michael Higgins, tight end, Nebraska-Omaha
  • Jerimiha Hunter, linebacker, Iowa
  • Kolby Hurt, fullback, Missouri State
  • Carl Johnson, guard, Florida
  • Dexter Larimore, defensive tackle, Ohio State
  • DeAndre McDaniel, safety, Clemson
  • Josh Morgan, wide receiver, Walsh
  • Kyle Nelson, long-snapper, New Mexico State
  • Dwight Roberson, linebacker, Oregon State
  • Mike Smith, offensive lineman, Nebraska
  • Ryan Taylor, center, UCLA

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