New Orleans general manager Mickey Loomis met with the local media Friday morning for a “season wrap-up’’ session. Yes, it came about two months later than the rest of the wrap-ups around the division.
But we’ll give Loomis a pass on this one. The man has been very business because the Super Bowl win kept the Saints playing a month longer than the rest of the teams in the division. Loomis also had to quickly get ready for the combine and free agency.
But he made time to summarize the season and look ahead and the Saints PR department passed along the transcript of his interview. Loomis covered more ground than we can include here, so we’ll touch on the highlights.
The contract talks with free-agent safety Darren Sharper:
“I have all of the love in the world for Darren Sharper. I just don’t have all the money in the world for Darren Sharper. We’d like to have Darren back. We really would and again, no different than any player, if it fits under the salary structure and the resources that we have, then we’ll definitely want to have him back. If it doesn’t and he has an opportunity somewhere else, we understand that.”
The loss of free-agent linebacker Scott Fujita to Cleveland:
“Scott just got an offer that was too good to turn down. He wanted to return to New Orleans. We wanted him to return to New Orleans, but we understand what free agency is. We’re going to miss Scott and [wife] Jaclyn. They were the first to commit to the New Orleans Saints after Hurricane Katrina, after the 2005 season and Scott really exemplified the type of player we want in New Orleans, intelligent, tough, high-character and a great leader for our team. We wish them all the best.”
Who will fill Fujita’s position:
“That remains to be seen. We have some guys in our program right now in Jonathan Casillas and Stanley Arnoux, young players. We have some other candidates, Anthony Waters, Troy Evans, but that will be determined in training camp.”
On free agents who are visiting:
“We’re going to have Jake [Delhomme] visit later today. We have James Hall in here today. We had a visit scheduled with Leonard Little and an emergency came up and he’s had to postpone that, so we’ll see what happens.”
On if running back Reggie Bush will remain with the Saints:
“Yes. He’ll be back and he’ll be back at his current salary.”