Saints' Payton downplays interest in James

May, 6, 2009
5/06/09
6:41
PM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

It sounds like the Saints' interest in Edgerrin James may be more wishful thinking by fans than it is reality for the team.

Although Sean Payton admitted the organization has at least discussed the veteran running back, the coach made it sound like the Saints aren't strongly interested in James.

Payton told the New Orleans Times-Picayune that nothing is imminent. At very least, it's likely the Saints will go through this weekend's rookie minicamp and take a look at and undrafted free agents P.J. Hill and Herb Donaldson as potential short-yardage backs before making any dramatic moves. Veteran Mike Bell also could be a possibility for that role.

I'm not sure James in New Orleans is as good a fit as a lot of readers think. James has indicated he wants to go to a team where he can play a big role after having reduced playing time in Arizona. The Saints have Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush and just want someone to help with short-yardage carries. I'm not sure James is ready to be just a situational player.

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