NFC South: Shane Lechler

METAIRIE, La. -- It would be easy for the New Orleans Saints to forget about the future.

Morstead
It would be understandable if they lived only in the present or dwelled on the recent past. After all, the Saints have gone through an offseason that was dominated with off-field distractions related to the bounty scandal and they still are dealing with the consequences. But give general manager Mickey Loomis credit for keeping his eye on the future.

The Saints made a move with big future implications Thursday night. ESPN’s John Clayton reports that punter Thomas Morstead has agreed to a six-year contract worth $21.9 million.

That’s progressive thinking by the Loomis and the Saints. They realize they’ve got one of the game’s best punters (and kickoff specialists) and they now have made sure he’s not going to get close to free agency anytime soon. The Saints made Morstead the league’s second highest paid punter, behind only Oakland’s Shane Lechler, who averages $4 million a year.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Loomis keeps looking ahead and you could see more contract extensions this year. Tight end Jimmy Graham is coming off a huge second season, but is making only the minimum. Graham still has two years on his rookie contract, but the Saints might be wise to make him happy and lock him up for the long term.

Morris addresses QB trade talk

August, 26, 2009
8/26/09
4:29
PM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

TAMPA, Fla. -- There could be even another element to the quarterback situation for the Buccaneers.

The team could be looking to trade one of its quarterbacks for a draft pick. Coach Raheem Morris wouldn't confirm an NFL.com report that the Bucs are shopping three of their quarterbacks for a trade, but he didn't deny it either.

"Oh, man, they're Nostradamus," Morris said when asked about the report. "Everybody in this league, all 32 teams around this time start calling front offices. I can't control who calls us. Everybody's interested in everybody's roster and everybody's looking to nit-pick off everybody's roster. Everybody has talent and you're trying to accumulate the best talent on your football team. That's just all that talk is what that is."

But it makes total sense for the Bucs to at least try to find out what the market value might be for Byron Leftwich, Luke McCown or Josh Johnson. They're not about to let go of rookie Josh Freeman, who they call their franchise quarterback.

But that's likely in the future. For now, it appears the Bucs will open the season with either Leftwich or McCown as their starter. They're about even at this point and a potential trade could play into Morris' decision, although the Bucs likely would be able to get only a late-round pick (at best) for any of their quarterbacks.

Leftwich, a former starter in Jacksonville, probably has more trade value because of his experience. McCown has only seven starts. Johnson, a second-year pro, has yet to play in an NFL game and probably wouldn't bring much in a trade.
Tags:

Oakland Raiders, Derek Anderson, Antonio Gates, Tom Coughlin, Dick LeBeau, Derrick Mason, Pat Bowlen, Michael Johnson, Three and Out, Stephen Nicholas, Jacksonville Jaguars, Matt Cassel, Denver Broncos, Robert Ferguson, Mike Smith, Kansas City Chiefs, Josh Johnson, Mike Tomlin, New York Giants, Jay Cutler, Michael Vick, Tyler Thigpen, Scott Pioli, Luke McCown, Brandon Marshall, Carson Palmer, Joe Flacco, Brady Quinn, Philadelphia Eagles, Rich Gannon, James Harrison, St. Louis Rams, Chicago Bears, JaMarcus Russell, Matt Schaub, Michael Turner, Jerious Norwood, Byron Leftwich, Justin Tuck, Aaron Rodgers, Brett Favre, Eric Mangini, Nnamdi Asomugha, Jack Del Rio, Green Bay Packers, Buffalo Bills, Kyle Orton, Josh Freeman, Tony Gonzalez, Double Coverage, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Gary Kubiak, Chad Ochocinco, QB battles 09, Josh McDaniels, Aaron Smith, Aaron Webster, Adam Schefter, AFC West chat, Ahmard Hall, Andre Smith, Anthony Collins, Arrelious Benn, Austin Alburtis, Bennie Blades, Bill Martin, Branden Albert, Brandon Chillar, Brandon Graham, Brandon Minor, Brian Brohm, Brian Iwuh, Brian Kelly, Brian Waters, Brodie Croyle, BT best worst 09, Casey Hampton, Cedric Benson, Chris Henry, Chris L. Rucker, Chris SimmsChris Simms, Clint Ingram, Clinton Portis, Cody Green, Cody Hawkins, Danny Baker, Danny Fortener, Darren McFadden, Daryl SMith, Dave Casper, Denard Robinson, Desmond Bishop, Donovan Warren, Earl Thomas, Emerging stars, Emerging stars 09, Evander Hood, George Walker, Gerald McRath, Golden Tate, Harlon Barnett, James Butler, James Davis, James Farrior, Jarred Salubi, Jason Murphy, Jay Finley, Jeremy Ware, Jerrod Johnson, Jerry Reese, Jimmy Clausen, Juice Williams, Junior Hemingway, Justin Durant, Justin Fargas, Keith Butler, Keith Nichol, Kelvin Grady, Kendell Davis-Clark, Kenny Phillips, Kirk Cousins, LaMarr Woodley, Laron Landry, Larry Birdine, LaTravis Washington, Lawrence Timmons, Lucas Patterson, Marcus Hyde, Mardy Gilyard, Marion Barber, Matt Flynn, Matt Gutierrez, Matthew Mulligan, Michael Bush, Michael Floyd, Mickey Okafor, Mike Gundy, Mike Sherman, Mike Zimmer, Nick Barnett, Raymond Chester, Rich Rodriguez, Rocky Boiman, Rodger Saffold, Ross Weaver, Ryan Tannehill, Sam Bradford, Shane Lechler, Shawn Watson, Shayne GrahamShayne Graham, Tate Forcier, Terrance Ganaway, Terrelle Pryor, Thomas William, Tim Hiller, Todd Christensen, Tom Brandstater, Trenton Robinson, Troy Polamalu, Will Muschamp, Zach Miller, Zoltan Mesko

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Insider