New Orleans Saints cap cutting continues.

ImageThe New Orleans Saints have released wide receiver Lance Moore in an effort to get under the salary cap. Moore is the fifth Saints veteran released this off season.

Earlier this off season, the Saints released Jabari Greer, Roman Harper, Will Smith and Johnathan Vilma. It is also rumored than Darren Sproles will be gone too. Eventhough these moves seem surprising, they were also necessary for the Saints to be able to get under the salary cap of $133 million. Recently the Saints have place an non-exclusive franchise tag on Jimmy Graham.The price tag for tight ends is about $7 million. If he files grievance to be tagged as a wide receiver that amount will jump to around $12 million. The Saints are trying to work on a long-term deal with Jimmy Graham which will probably make him the highest paid tight end in the  history of the NFL.

The Saints have also placed a $1.4 million restricted free agent tendor on safety Rafael Bush. The Saints will need to clear more cap room if they want to resign free agents Zach Strief, Malcolm Jenkins, and Brian De la Puente. So with the Saints having so little  cap room they had no choice, but to release veterans to clear more space.

The only Saints that remain under contract from the 2009 super bowl season are Drew Brees, Marques Colston, Pierre Thomas, Thomas Moorestead, Jahari Evans, and  Robert Meachem. Zach Strief and Malcolm Jenkins are set to become free agents on March 11.

The unofficial start of free agency is tomorrow, where teams can negotiate contracts with their soon to be free agents. This period lasts three days. Free agency will officialy start March 11 at 4:00 pm eastern time.

Will the saints cut anyone else, will they attempt to negotiate contracts with potential free agents? Stay tuned who dat nation, it will be an interesting next few days,

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Jrue Holiday still not ready to return to action

ImageThe New Orleans Pelicans point guard Jrue Holiday is still not ready to hit the court after a stress fracture in his right leg. There is no set timetable when Holiday will be able to suit up and play a game. He has not played a game since January 8th. This marks the second injury setback the Pelicans are facing as power forward Ryan Anderson is also out. He leads the team in scoring just under 20 points a game, but he is also recovering from a herniated disk in his shoulder.

If Holiday ends up missing an extended period of time it will definatly effect the Pelicans playoff hopes. New Orleans is only four games off in the Western Conference playoff race. It will be very hard to remain withing close distance while missing two key pieces.

With that being said, it is unclear exactly how long Holiday will be sidelined, but the Pelicans are hoping when he comes back they will still be in the playoff race.

The New Orleans Saints are helped out with increased salary cap.

127534_jumbo_shotThe NFL will reportedly raise the salary cap to about $130 million in 2014. This is very big news for the Saints since their salary cap total is sky high. With this raise in salary cap the Saints will be about $4.6 million under the cap.  So like i said this news is amazing.

To be able to afford Jimmy Grahams franchise tag price the Saints will need to trim the salary cap at least another $10 million. It is still possible the Saints could release current veterans like defensive tackle Brodrick Brunkley, cornerback Patrick Robinson, receiver Lance Moore and running back Pierre Thomas. Those four players combined could free up about $12.6 million in cap space.

The Saints made their biggest cuts last week in Roman Harper, Will Smith, and Jabari Greer. Those three combined will account for $8.7 million in “dead money” against this years salary cap due to their signing bonuses which hasn’t been charged yet.

The salary cap is expected to rise even more in 2015 and with those three off the books the Saints may be able to stay somewhat active in free agency this year.

The Saints front office has been working hard this off season with all the decisions they have been making, but these difficult decisions are not over yet. Saints fans just have to hope that all these decisions pay off in the long run.  All and all he did take a risk on Drew Brees back in 06 and draft Jimmy Graham in the 3rd round in 2010. As Saints fans would say “In Loomis We Trust.”

Anthony Davis shines in Rising Starts challenge.

6724d736_davisPelicans power forward Anthony Davis played great in the rising stars challenge. He finished the game with 16 points, four assists, three steals and two blocks.Also, he had a few flashy dunks. Even though he played great his team Team Webber fell to Team Hill 137-132. Under the new Rising Stars game format two former NBA greats pick from the leagues first and second year players. The NFL has went with this format, in the Pro Bowl. I think this new format is alright, but i kind of liked the old format better. Speaking of new formats, the NBA Slam Dunk competition new format is horrible. 3 players from each conference and go head to head. First conference to win three head to head battles win the dunk contest. So instead of being every man foe himself like it should be, its become more of a team competition. It makes me not want to watch it as long as the keep this format.

Ok, I’m finished ranting about the new formats. Anthony Davis played a heavy amount of minutes, which really surprised me, because he will be playing in the All-Star game as well.  Since the All-Star weekend is in New Orleans, of course Anthony Davis got the most cheers from the stands in the Smoothie King Arena. Yes if you’re wonder the New Orleans Arena has a new sponsor in Smoothie King. Anyway, even though this was an exhibition game just for fun, Davis doing well in games like this can get his career going in the right direction. He was drafted number one overall after winning a national championship at the University of Kentucky. He is the face of the franchise.  I believe soon he will become an NBA MVP type caliber, the sky is the limit for this kid.

Let the New Orleans Saints salary cap cutting begin

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Atlanta Falcons v New Orleans Saints

Jabari+Greer+Wild+Card+Playoffs+Detroit+Lions+Vu51GpXY_Dsl

Last week i said some players will have to be cut soon in order to get under the cap limit, because the Saints were way over the cap limit. 12-15 million. This week the New Orleans Saints start trimming salary cap in a push to sign Jimmy Graham and other potential free agents. Some of the notable guys who got cut are as follows: cornerback Jabari Greer, Outside Linebacker Will Smith, safety Roman Harper, and middle linebacker Johnathan Vilma, all of whom were with the Saints during the 2009-2010 Super Bowl winning team.

I expected that these were the players that were going to get cut.

They are aging and all have had major injury concerns throughout their career. These decisions are tough, but it was needed to get the Saints under cap. I think their under the cap limit as of now, but more cap space is needed to sign or franchise tag free-agent Jimmy Graham.

Those players were receiving major money this season Will Smith $11.55 million, Roman Harper  $3.15 million, and Jabari Greer $4.55 million.  Unfortunately, the Saints will have a$ 6.5 million cap penalty, due to the signing bonuses. When a player gets cut before his contract is up, the player is still owed his signing bonus.

It will be interesting who General Manager Mickey Loomis will cut next.

In my opinion, Drew Brees needs to restructure his deal which is worth $100 million. This year he is set to make about $18 million with a cap hit of $18.4 million. Cap hit is how much of the cap room a player takes up. His contract in it’s peak stages which means the cap hit will go up next year. So if the Saints don’t restructure his contract then the Saints will run into more problems along the road.

Franchise tagging Jimmy Graham brings tough decisions to the New Orleans Saints.

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saintsa

New York Giants v New Orleans Saints

The New Orleans Saints have many decisions to make during this off-season. One of those decisions is whether to franchise tag All-Pro tight end Jimmy Graham or not.  Franchise tagging is basically a one year deal that binds the player to their current team payout is based on position.  Graham is listed as a tight end, but most of the time he lines up as a slot wide receiver. So the question is will he be considered a tight end or a wide receiver for franchise tagging purposes? The tight end amount is 6.8 million while the wide receiver amount is 11.6 million. So, obviously the Saints will want to sign him for the tight end amount and Jimmy Graham would want the wide receiver amount. The New Orleans Saints have from February 17th till March 3rd to franchise tag Jimmy Graham. If a long term deal isn’t done by then, there is no doubt in my mind that the Saints will franchise tag Jimmy Graham.

The problem is even if the Saints are able to sign Graham to the tight end amount the Saints don’t have that type of money. The Saints are way above the cap limit for the 2014-2015 season and it’s possible that there isn’t enough room for other soon to be free agents which include: Malcolm Jenkins, Zach Strief, and Brian De la Puente. To get under the cap some players may need to be cut, some of those players include: Will Smith, Pierre Thomas, Roman Harper, and Lance Moore.

These decisions are tough meanwhile keeping Jimmy Graham is an easy call, just a very costly one.

In my opinion, resigning or franchise tagging Jimmy Graham needs to be number one priority. No matter what it takes the Saints need to make this happen. Graham has said he doesn’t want to play for any other quarterback than Drew Brees. Who could blame him, they bring out the best in each other. Not only is Jimmy Graham important to the Saints on the field, he is just as important off the field. The Saints fans including myself adore Jimmy Graham. He is as great off the field as he is on. He is always willing to sign autographs and take pictures with fans after the game. That’s a show of true character. Jimmy Graham is one of a kind.

Jimmy Graham 2013 season stats

86 catches, 1,215 yards, 16 touchdowns

Welcome

Hey everyone, welcome to my blog. my name is Tylor Lenart. I am a hardcore sports fan and I love the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans. I am dedicating this blog to everything New Orleans Saints and Pelicans. I really hope you will enjoy reading my blog as i bring you news, updates and rants about the Saints and Pelicans. I will be posting at least a couple times a week. Feel free to comment on anything i post. I love hearing and getting feedback.  I also take requests, so if you have a topic that you would like me to discuss please ask. You can contact me via twitter and email. My twitter is @tylorlenart and my email is tylor.lenart@gmail.com