NFC South Notes: Saints, Brees, Alford, Falcons

It’s now 2017 or bust for the Saints‘ power trio of Drew Brees, coach Sean Payton, and GM Mickey Loomis,’s Mike Triplett opines. The Saints have shown gradual improvement over the past two years, but they’re now on pace for their third straight losing season and patience is wearing thin amongst fans. With Drew Brees signed to a one-year extension through 2017 that will really hamper them in ’18, the Saints are poised to go “all-in” next year, but they’ll have to get things right in free agency. In recent years, high-priced additions like safety Jairus Byrd, cornerback Brandon Browner, running back C.J. Spiller, tight end Coby Fleener, and linebacker James Laurinaitis have flopped.

More from the NFC South:

  • Under the terms of Robert Alford‘s four-year extension with the Falcons, the fourth-year cornerback will receive $21MM guaranteed — $12MM of that is fully guaranteed at signing, while the remaining $9MM becomes fully guaranteed on February 10, 2017, according to Adam Caplan of (Twitter link). Because Alford is extremely unlikely to be cut before next spring, that $21MM total is “effectively” guaranteed, and would tie Alford for ninth among corners in terms of guaranteed money.
  • Offensive lineman Avery Young‘s practice window has expired, meaning the Saints will not be able to activate him from the non-football injury list for the remainder of the season, reports Nick Underhill of the Advocate (Twitter link). As Underhill tweeted last week, New Orleans has agreed to pay Young $10K per week while he’s on NFI. Technically, clubs are not required to compensate players on NFI, but most teams work out deals to pay sidelined players at a lower rate.

Dallas Robinson contributed to this post.

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