Sep 10, 2020; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Tanoh Kpassagnon (92) on the sidelines during the game against the Houston Texans at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Saints finalizing deal with DE Tanoh Kpassagnon

The New Orleans Saints are finalizing a two-year deal with defensive end Tanoh Kpassagnon, multiple outlets reported Monday.

Kpassagnon played in 61 games (24 starts) in four seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs, recording seven sacks and 18 quarterback hits. He added 75 tackles, including 12 for loss.

The Saints drafted Kpassagnon in the second round of the 2017 draft out of Villanova.

Kpassagnon, 26, helps remake a Saints’ defensive line that lost Trey Hendrickson, Sheldon Rankins and Malcom Brown.

–Field Level Media

Sep 27, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; A general view of the New Orleans Saints logo prior to kickoff against the Green Bay Packers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Caesars, Saints close to deal on Superdome naming rights

Caesars is betting big on New Orleans and the NFL.

The gambling heavyweight is expected to ink a deal with the New Orleans Saints for the naming rights to their home stadium, the Superdome, according to multiple reports Wednesday.

According to The Athletic, the agreement will be worth $200 million over 20 years, with the Saints being paid $10 million annually. The Sports Business Journal later reported that the anticipated contract would pay the Saints nearly $11 million annually.

No official name has been selected yet, according to reports.

The stadium, which has been the home of the Saints since 1975, currently has a rights deal with Mercedes-Benz that is set to expire in July. Mercedes-Benz is also three years into a 27-year, $324 million naming-rights deal for the home stadium of the Saints’ NFC South rival, the Atlanta Falcons.

The Superdome is in the midst of a $450 million renovation that began in January.

–Field Level Media

Jan 3, 2021; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots running back Sony Michel (26) rushes against New York Jets free safety Marcus Maye (20) during the first quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Jets’ Marcus Maye, Saints’ Marcus Williams accept franchise tag

New York Jets safety Marcus Maye and New Orleans Saints safety Marcus Williams accepted their franchise tag tenders from their respective teams, NFL Network reported Saturday.

Maye’s agent Erik Burkhardt has since retweeted the NFL Network’s report on his client.

Maye and Williams are each slated to make $10.612 million this season provided the parties fail to sign a long-term extension by July 15.

Maye, 28, had a strong season in 2020 after taking over as the defensive leader following the team’s trade of Jamal Adams to the Seattle Seahawks.

The four-year starter recorded two interceptions, two sacks, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery while starting all 16 games for New York in 2020.

Maye has logged six interceptions, 2.5 sacks, four forced fumbles and 22 passes defensed in 54 career games (all starts) with the Jets.

Williams, 24, made $1.3 million in 2020 while playing on the final year of his rookie contract.

Williams has started all 60 games he’s played in for the Saints, including 14 last season. He made 59 tackles with three interceptions and seven passes defensed in 2020. He has 13 career interceptions.

–Field Level Media

Dec 25, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton takes off his mask to yell to his players in the second half against the Minnesota Vikings at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Saints penalized $700K, draft pick over COVID-19 violations

Nov 12, 2020; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Titans offensive tackle Isaiah Wilson (79) warms up before the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints will lose their sixth-round draft pick in 2022 and pay a $700,000 fine for violating COVID-19 rules during the 2020 season, the NFL said Saturday.

The Saints now are well over the $1 million mark in fines for COVID issues.

After Week 2, the NFL assessed coach Sean Payton $100,000 and fined the Saints $250,000 for Payton’s failure to properly wear a mask. New Orleans later was fined $500,000 after celebrating a 38-3 win over Tampa Bay in Week 9 while not wearing face coverings.

The Saints will not lose a 2021 seventh-round pick for the Week 9 incident as was previously reported.

–Field Level Media

Sep 9, 2019; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan (94) looks over at Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) during the second half at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Saints’ next QB odds: Deshaun Watson, Russell Wilson in mix?

The identity of the New Orleans Saints’ next quarterback is one of the biggest questions in the NFL following Drew Brees’ retirement on Sunday.

Coach Sean Payton said last month that he believes the Saints’ next quarterback was “in the building.”

That would mean Taysom Hill or Jameis Winston, who is a free agent after playing on a one-year, $1 million contract last season.

Winston, who appeared in four games but did not start when Brees was hurt, has been installed as the early 3/2 favorite by SportsBetting.com to take the Saints’ first snap at quarterback in Week 1 next season. He saw significant action in only one regular-season game last season and threw a 56-yard touchdown pass in the playoff loss to Tampa Bay.

Hill is a close second at 3/1. He started in Brees’ place and was credited with three wins last year, but is also 31 and takes a significant pounding with his physical playing style.

If New Orleans’ next quarterback was not on the roster last year, the story takes on a far more intriguing plot line.

The Houston Texans continue to insist that Deshaun Watson will not be traded. However, their star quarterback has requested a trade and New Orleans is not an AFC rival. Watson is being offered at 7/1 by SportsBetting.com to be the Saints’ next starting quarterback.

That’s just ahead of Russell Wilson (10/1), who is reportedly open to being traded by the Seattle Seahawks. Alex Smith (15/1) is also a free agent after being released by the Washington Football Team last week, although his injury history would be a significant concern.

Teddy Bridgewater (15/1) revived his career in two seasons as Brees’ backup. He signed with Carolina as a free agent last offseason, but the Panthers have been knocking on the door of other teams about potentially acquiring another veteran this offseason. Bridgewater threw for 3,733 yards, 15 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 2020.

There are numerous other potential veteran targets at quarterback. Complicating that scenario, however, is that the Saints are still $17.2 million over this year’s salary cap according to OverTheCap.com.

Hill signed a four-year, $140 million extension on Sunday, according to ESPN, that will help provide additional salary cap relief. But there would still be several hurdles to jump in order to acquire a veteran currently on another NFL roster.

Odds to take Saints’ first snap in Week 1 of 2021 season:
Jameis Winston 3/2
Taysom Hill 3/1
Deshaun Watson 7/1
Russell Wilson 10/1
Alex Smith 15/1
Teddy Bridgewater 15/1
Andy Dalton 20/1
Marcus Mariota 20/1
Jimmy Garropolo 25/1
Ryan Fitzpatrick 25/1
Sam Darnold 30/1
Tyrod Taylor 30/1
Jacoby Brissett 35/1
Colt McCoy 35/1
Matt Barkley 40/1
Joe Flacco 40/1
Blaine Gabbert 40/1
Drew Lock 40/1
Mitchell Trubisky 40/1
Mike Glennon 40/1
Brian Hoyer 45/1
Blake Bortles 45/1
Robert Griffin III 45/1
Geno Smith 45/1
Matt Ryan 50/1

–Field Level Media

Jan 17, 2021; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) blows a kiss to his family as he walks to the tunnel following a 30-20 loss against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a NFC Divisional Round playoff game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Saints QB Drew Brees retires

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees announced his retirement on Sunday.

The 42-year-old Brees is the NFL’s all-time leader with 80,358 career passing yards and 7,142 completions. His 571 touchdowns rank second to Tom Brady’s 581.

Brees spent the past 15 seasons (2006-20) with the Saints after playing his first five campaigns with the San Diego Chargers. He was a 13-time Pro Bowl selection.

“Til the very end, I exhausted myself to give everything I had to the Saints organization, my team, and the great city of New Orleans,” Brees said in his announcement on Instagram. “We shared some amazing moments together, many of which are emblazoned in our hearts and minds and will forever be a part of us. …

“I am only retiring from playing football, I am not retiring from New Orleans. This is not goodbye, rather a new beginning.”

Brees led New Orleans to its lone Super Bowl championship following the 2009 season.

–Field Level Media

Sep 27, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints cornerback Janoris Jenkins (20) against the Green Bay Packers during the second quarter at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Saints to release CB Janoris Jenkins

Jan 17, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs offensive tackle Eric Fisher (72) kneels on field before the AFC Divisional Round playoff game against the Cleveland Browns at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Slashing payroll to reach salary cap compliance cost the New Orleans Saints the services of cornerback Janoris Jenkins.

According to multiple reports, the Saints and Jenkins are parting to help New Orleans get closer to the new salary cap figure of $182.5 million for the 2021 season. Teams must all be under the cap by March 17, the start of the league year.

Jenkins was scheduled to earn $11.2 million in salary and bonuses. Releasing the former second-round pick saves the Saints $7 million against the salary cap. However, the Saints stand to save another $3 million if the move is designated as a post-June 1 release.

The Saints used the franchise tag to retain safety Marcus Williams.

Additional cap-cutting moves are expected.

New Orleans entered the offseason projected to be over the salary cap by $100 million. That was before the NFL reduced the cap by more than eight percent from 2020.

–Field Level Media

Jan 13, 2019; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints offensive guard Andrus Peat (75) lines up against the Philadelphia Eagles during the third quarter of a NFC Divisional playoff football game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Saints clearing cap space with flurry of moves

The New Orleans Saints released wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders and reportedly restructured the contracts of offensive lineman Andrus Peat and safety Malcolm Jenkins on Wednesday, clearing nearly $16 million in cap space.

The Saints are also expected to release linebacker Kwon Alexander in the coming days, a move that would clear another $13 million in cap space.

Sanders, who turns 34 on March 17, would have counted $10.5 million against the salary cap in 2021. His release frees up $6.5 million, per Spotrac. Sanders confirmed his release in a social media post.

Sanders caught 61 passes for 726 yards and five touchdowns in 14 games in his first season with New Orleans in 2020.

The two-time Pro Bowl selection had three straight 1,000-yard seasons with Denver (2014-16), and has caught 662 passes for 8,619 yards and 47 touchdowns in 158 games with the Pittsburgh Steelers (2010-13), Broncos (2014-19), San Francisco 49ers (2019) and Saints.

The Saints lowered Peat’s cap hit from $11.6 million to $5.6 million for this season, per the report. As a result, Peat will carry a cap hit of $15.45 million in 2022. The 27-year-old has started 73 of 78 games played since the Saints drafted him No. 13 overall in 2015.

The Saints reduced Jenkins’ salary to $1.05 million, converting $5.5 million of the difference into a signing bonus that will be spread over the next three years, per the report. The team saved $3.4 million for this season.

Jenkins, 33, started all 16 games for the Saints last season, intercepting three passes and racking up 91 tackles and 10 passes defensed.

The Saints traded for Alexander during the 2020 season, sending linebacker Kiko Alonso and a 2022 fifth-round pick to the San Francisco 49ers. Alexander started seven games for the Saints before tearing his Achilles in December, missing the postseason. He’s expected to be ready for training camp.

The Saints slapped safety Marcus Williams with the franchise tag on Tuesday.

–Field Level Media

Nov 22, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Russell Gage (83) catches a pass against New Orleans Saints free safety Marcus Williams (43) during the second quarter at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Saints slap franchise tag on S Marcus Williams

Dec 25, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Minnesota Vikings kicker Dan Bailey (5) warms up before their game against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints hit starting free safety Marcus Williams with the franchise tag, NFL Network reported Tuesday.

The Saints took Williams in the second round of the 2017 draft. The 24-year-old made $1.3 million last season, the final year of his rookie contract. Williams will make a projected $10.5 million on the tag this season.

Williams has started all 60 games he’s played in for the Saints, including 14 last season. He made 59 tackles with three interceptions and seven passes defensed in 2020. He has 13 career INTs.

The 6-foot-1 Williams played at Utah.

–Field Level Media

Sep 21, 2020; Paradise, Nevada, USA;  New Orleans Saints running back Ty Montgomery (88) runs the ball against Las Vegas Raiders cornerback Damon Arnette (20) during the third quarter of a NFL game at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Saints make more salary cap moves, re-sign RB Ty Montgomery

The New Orleans Saints made more moves on Saturday in their ongoing effort to try to create salary cap space and also re-signed running back Ty Montgomery.

The team restructured the contracts of linebacker Demario Davis and defensive end Cameron Jordan. As a result, they created $13.44 million of cap room, NFL Network reported.

The Saints have the worst salary cap situation in the NFL and are still about $48 million over the $180 million cap floor, according to Over The Cap.

This comes after a series of moves made to open cap space, which included renegotiating quarterback Drew Brees’ deal; releasing tight ends Jared Cook and Josh Hill and punter Thomas Morstead; and restructuring the contracts of defensive tackle David Onyemata and kicker Wil Lutz.

The team said Montgomery’s deal is for one year, but financial terms were not announced. Multiple reports pegged it at a veteran minimum salary of $990,000 with a $137,500 bonus.

Montgomery has appeared in 64 career games with 17 starts for Green Bay (2015-18), Baltimore (2018), the New York Jets (2019) and the Saints, carrying the ball 243 times for 1,136 yards with seven touchdowns. He added 123 receptions for 1,009 yards with three touchdowns and returned 55 kickoffs for 1,215 yards.

Last season, he gained 128 yards from scrimmage in six games with the Saints.

–Field Level Media