The latest from New Orleans:
- Although the Saints recently met with free agent defensive end Ezekiel Ansah, no deal is imminent between the two parties, according to Josh Katzenstein of the Times-Picayune (Twitter link). That’s because New Orleans — and other clubs with interest — want to evaluate the status of Ansah’s shoulder before signing him. Ansah was limited by that shoulder issue all year long, and ultimately appeared in only seven games while trying to work through the ailment. The Bills have also met with Ansah, who was the Lions’ franchise player in 2018.
- The Saints hosted linebacker Kyle Emanuel for a visit on Thursday, tweets veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer. Emanuel, 27, started 33 games for the Chargers over the past four years, but only topped 50% playing time in a season once during that span. He’s been a force on special teams, however, seeing at least 150 ST snaps in each of his pro campaigns. New Orleans already has Alex Anzalone, Demario Davis, and A.J. Klein as is starting linebackers, so Emanuel would serve as depth if signed.
- After tearing his Achilles in the Divisional Round of the postseason, Saints defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins is likely to begin the 2019 regular season on the physically unable to perform list, which would force him to miss the first six games of the year, per Nick Underhill of the Advocate (Twitter link). Rankins, 24, played the most snaps of any Saints defensive tackle in 2018, managing 40 tackles (12 for loss), eight sacks, and 15 quarterback hits in the process. Pro Football Focus, meanwhile, graded Rankins as the No. 23 interior defender among 119 qualifiers.