Saints Notes: Evans, Spencer, Jordan, Draft

Although he was the last head coach to arrive at the NFC coaches’ breakfast in Phoenix this morning, Sean Payton of the Saints may have dropped more noteworthy tidbits for reporters in Arizona than any other NFC coach. Let’s dive in and round up the highlights, via Larry Holder, Nick Underhill, Ian Rapoport, and Mike Garafolo (all links go to Twitter)….

  • The Saints explored the possibility of trading both Jahri Evans and Ben Grubbs, since it wasn’t feasible to keep both high-priced guards. With Grubbs having been sent to Kansas City, Evans is poised to stick around, but his contract may still be addressed and modified, per Payton.
  • There were “four or five teams” talking to the Saints about a potential Jimmy Graham trade, including the Dolphins. Asked about whether last year’s positional battle or contract negotiations involving Graham played a part in the team’s decision to trade the tight end, Payton replied, “Zero. None.” The head coach added that he has spoken to Drew Brees about the deal, and the quarterback handled it fine.
  • Payton confirmed that free agent DE/OLB Anthony Spencer visited the Saints on Monday, but said there’s nothing to announce at this point.
  • Payton likes this year’s draft class for wide receivers, and believes the team will take at least one or two defensive linemen or edge defenders in the draft. Adding a tight end, either in free agency or the draft, is also a priority.
  • General manager Mickey Loomis has begun discussions on a potential long-term contract extension for defensive Cameron Jordan.
  • Payton believes there’s a good chance Travaris Cadet would have re-signed with the Saints if the club hadn’t added C.J. Spiller in free agency. The head coach added that he had dinner in Los Angeles with Reggie Bush to discuss a potential reunion before signing Spiller, since the team expected Spiller to “end up somewhere else at a higher number.”
  • Asked about finding a successor for Brees, Payton said he thinks the veteran quarterback has “a lot of good football left,” but he’s open to drafting a QB if there’s value to be had. However, Payton dismissed the idea of trading up for Marcus Mariota, saying that “won’t happen.”
  • Prior to releasing him, the Saints wanted Curtis Lofton to make some adjustments and improvements to his game, and to take a pay cut, but it didn’t pan out.
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