Saints Rumors: Hill, Brees, Payton, Hightower

Earlier this morning, Sean Payton broke some big news when he announced that he has signed a brand-new five-year contract through the 2020 season with the Saints. Payton’s contract has been a priority for New Orleans this offseason and they had plenty of motivation to get a deal done with several teams reportedly eyeing the 52-year-old coach.

Here’s more on the Saints:

  • It’s not out the question that Josh Hill returns after the tight end inked the Bears’ offer sheet, the coach told reporters (including Larry Holder of The Times-Picayune). Payton and GM Mickey Loomis will discuss Hill further today.
  • Payton said the ongoing Drew Brees extension talks are discussed in some form daily, Holder tweets. Brees, 37, is entering the final year of a five-year, $100MM deal he signed in 2012. Earlier this week, the QB said that he’s unsure of the timetable for a deal getting done and that he’s not positive that a deal will get done at all.
  • Payton said the Saints paid close attention to the guard market but things did not pan out, Holder tweets. Before the start of free agency, Payton did not anticipate signing a tight end (link via Holder). Overall, he looked more at offensive guards and defensive players. On March 9th, the Saints agreed to sign former Colts tight end Coby Fleener.
  • Heading into the draft, Payton says that he sees defensive end and three-technique defensive tackle as “musts,” (Twitter link via Holder). Payton added safety to the list of high-priority needs, as Mike Triplett of tweets.
  • The coach said there is absolutely a possibility that running back Tim Hightower will return to the team (link via Holder). Hightower started three games for the Saints last year after being years removed from the NFL.
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