Writing about the Saints, OverTheCap.com’s Jason Fitzgerald says, “On one end of the spectrum they do a pretty poor job with planning for tomorrow due to restructures, void years, etc… but on the other end of the spectrum they also find these really good bargains on players.” Fitzgerald references Marques Colston, Zach Strief and Junior Galette chief among those bargains, deeming Galette the team’s best contract. On the flip side of the coin, however, is Curtis Lofton. Fitzgerald says the veteran linebacker’s guaranteed money is out of whack, and his deal is “littered” with prohibitive roster bonuses and a potentially costly voidable year.
Read on for several more NFC news and notes:
- Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr hasn’t joined the Cowboys for training camp yet because he’s been with his cancer-stricken mother, who passed away on Wednesday.
- Another player who has been sidelined for training camp is 49ers tight end Garrett Celek. He missed four games last season because of a hamstring injury, and is dealing with a back injury right now. Division III product Derek Carrier stands to benefit, writes SFGate.com’s Eric Branch, as Carrier and Celek are the contenders for the third tight end job behind Vernon Davis and Vance McDonald. Offensive coordinator Greg Roman believes in Carrier’s ability: “He’s got a chance to be a productive player in this league. There’s no doubt. Derek’s got a nice feel for the passing game, he’s got good hands, and he can cover some ground now – he can really run. I don’t like to put timetables on people, but this a big year for him. He’s got a hell of an opportunity this year to really take a big step.”
- Meanwhile, 49ers coaches are raving about the mental prowess of rookie runner Carlos Hyde, going so far as to call him savant-like, writes Matt Barrows in the Sacramento Bee.
- Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer says there is a “strong” chance first-rounder Anthony Barr could start the season opener, reports Matt Vensel of the Star Tribune.
- Bears rookie linebacker Christian Jones was one of the highest-profile undrafted free agents because he was key member of the national champion Florida State Seminoles, because he’s an impressive athlete who garnered second-round grades from draft evaluators and because he failed a drug test at the Combine. Not surprisingly, he’s made early waves in training camp for the linebacker-needy Bears, writes ESPN’s Michael C. Wright, who says it would be a surprise if Jones didn’t make the team: “The question now is whether Jones can maintain the momentum. Through the first seven practices, Jones appears to be one of the most athletic linebackers on the team, and probably the only true strongside linebacker at the position.”
- ESPN’s Pat Yasinkas checks in on a handful of Buccaneers position battles, including the worrisome guard spots: “This one remains wide open. Jamon Meredith, Oniel Cousins, Patrick Omameh and Kadeem Edwards have been taking turns working with the first team and it doesn’t look like anyone has pulled ahead of the pack yet.”