Saints Rumors

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/12/18

Today’s minor moves:

Carolina Panthers

Denver Broncos

  • Waived: OL Leon Johnson

Houston Texans

Los Angeles Rams

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

New Orleans Saints

  • Waived:G Trevor Darling

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Saints Sign CB Marcus Williams

The Saints now have two Marcus Williams‘. The team is signing the fifth-year jounreyman cornerback, a source told Nick Underhill of the New Orleans Advocate (Twitter link). Williams came into the league as an undrafted free agent back in 2014, signing with the Jets. He made an impact right away, starting eight games as a rookie.

He continued to play a large role in New York over the next couple of seasons, and the team valued him highly. When he was a restricted free agent in 2017, the Jets placed a second round tender on him. Despite paying him $2.75MM under the tender, he quickly fell out of favor and was waived just a few weeks into the 2017 season.

The Texans claimed him off waivers, and he appeared in ten games for them, notching 12 tackles in a reserve role. After the season, he signed with the Cardinals, but was released back in May. Across his four seasons in the league, Williams has played in 49 games, including 15 starts, and racked up 89 tackles, ten interceptions, and 27 passes defended.

Signed this late in the offseason, Williams will be fighting an uphill battle to earn a roster spot with the Saints. New Orleans was apparently looking for some secondary depth, also signing safety Robert Nelson according to Underhill (Twitter link). It’s a nice add at this point in the season for the Saints, as Williams has always shown good ball skills, compiling an impressive amount of interceptions and pass breakups on limited playing time.

Saints Cut CB De’Vante Harris

De’Vante Harris will be looking for a new home. Nick Underhill of The New Orleans Advocate reports (via Twitter) that the Saints have cut the cornerback.

The 25-year-old initially joined the Saints as an undrafted free agent out of Texas A&M back in 2016, and he proceeded to spend most of the next two seasons on the active roster. After playing in 10 games as rookie, Harris made 11 appearances (one start) for the Saints last season.

While he finished with career-highs in tackles (18) and passes defended (two), he seemed to lose the faith of the New Orleans coaching staff. He started the season in a primary role, but was demoted to special teams midway through the year. An injury to Marshon Lattimore forced him back into the lineup.

Harris was already going to be hard pressed to make the Saints on a crowded cornerback depth chart. Following his release, the team will be eyeing Ken Crawley, P.J. Williams, Justin Hardee, Arthur Maulet, and Kamrin Moore for backup reps.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

WR Brandon Coleman Could Return To Saints

The Saints released Brandon Coleman yesterday, but the receiver could end up finding his way back to New Orleans. Head coach Sean Payton hinted that the 26-year-old could return to the organization once he’s healthy enough to play.

“He’s got a little bit of time still in his rehab,” Payton said (via Luke Johnson of NOLA.com). “He’ll be able to go ahead and rehab and get healthy. I would anticipate that it’s not the last time we’ll see him. He and I had a good visit today, we’re all on the same page.”

After starting training camp on the active/physically unable to perform list, the Saints released Coleman with a failed physical designation yesterday. Payton told reporters that the receiver is dealing with neck and hip injuries, and the estimated recovery time meant the Saints were forced to part ways with the former undrafted free agent.

“It would be too early for me to say three weeks, four weeks, but his progress is going well,” Payton said. “It’s just going to take a little bit longer. Right now, with where we’re at, we’ve got to keep making room so we can play these games.”

The six-foot-six, 225-pound Coleman may have stood above his fellow Saints wideouts, but he was unable to put up big numbers with New Orleans over the past three seasons. His 2017 campaign was on-par with his usual production, as he finished with 23 receptions for 364 yards and three scores. If Coleman were to return to the Saints, he’d have a tough time improving on those stats, as Michael Thomas, Cameron Meredith, and Ted Ginn Jr. seemed to be locked in atop the depth chart.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Saints To Release WR Brandon Coleman

The Saints will release wide receiver Brandon Coleman with a failed physical designation, according to Field Yates of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Coleman had been sidelined by an unspecified injury in recent weeks, tweets Mike Triplett of ESPN.com.

New Orleans declined to tender Coleman as a restricted free agent earlier this year, failing to bring him back on an original round tender that would have cost $1.9MM. Instead, the Saints re-signed Coleman in April to a deal that had a maximum value of $1MM.

Exactly how often Coleman was to contribute during the upcoming season had been unclear, as the Saints improved their wide receiving corps over the offseason. New Orleans landed Cameron Meredith after inking the former Bear to a restricted offer sheet, one which Chicago declined to match. He’ll likely act as the Saints’ slot receiver between Michael Thomas and Ted Ginn Jr., so Coleman was — at best — the club’s fourth wideout.

Coleman, who entered the league as an undrafted free agent out of Rutgers in 2014, has never been all that productive while catching passes from Drew Brees. His target share and overall reception total decreased in each of his three full seasons with the Saints, and he was never able to top 30 receptions or 500 receiving yards during his tenure wit the team.

But there are reasons to be somewhat optimistic about Coleman’s future, and his large stature is one of them. Coleman stands 6’6″ and 225 pounds, meaning he nearly has the frame of a tight end. That size hasn’t contributed to production out of the slot thus far, but Coleman is still only 26 years old. Coleman also fared well in Football Outsiders’ DYAR, which measures value over a replacement-level player — among the 71 wideouts with fewer than 50 receptions in 2017, Coleman ranked a respectable 13th in DYAR.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/5/18

Today’s minor moves:

Buffalo Bills

Kansas City Chiefs

  • Claimed off waivers: C Jack Allen
  • Waived/injured: C Tejan Koroma

New Orleans Saints

San Francisco 49ers

Saints Audition TE John Phillips

  • With several of their tight ends battling injuries, the Saints will be bringing in a familiar face for a workout. Josh Katzenstein of The Times-Picayune reports (via Twitter) that veteran John Phillips is working out for the team today. The 31-year-old has spent parts of the past two seasons with the organization. While he only appeared in one game this past years, he appeared in eight games (four starts) back in 2016, hauling in five receptions for 32 yards. Known more for his blocking prowess, Phillips’ has 55 career receptions in eight NFL seasons. If Phillips does join the Saints, he’d still be hard pressed to establish a role on a crowded depth chart that includes Ben Watson, Josh HillMichael Hoomanawanui, and Garrett Griffin.
  • The Giants auditioned a number of cornerbacks yesterday, including Alterraun VernerZack Sanchez, and Leonard Johnson (the team ultimately signed Johnson). Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com reports (via Twitter) that the team also hosted veteran Sterling Moore. The 28-year-old has managed to put together a seven-year career despite going undrafted out of Southern Methodist in 2011. The cornerback bounced on and off the Saints roster in 2017, compiling five tackles and two passes defended in six games. However, he was plenty productive with New Orleans in 2016, finishing with a career-high 56 tackles, 13 passes defended, and two interceptions.

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Minor NFL Transactions: 8/1/18

Today’s minor moves:

Carolina Panthers

Detroit Lions

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

Tennessee Titans

Saints Sign OL Don Barclay

The Saints have completed their busy evening by adding some offensive line help. Nick Underhill of The New Orleans Advocate reports (via Twitter) that the team has signed veteran lineman Don Barclay.

The 2012 undrafted free agent out of West Virgina has managed to put together a six-year career, most of which came with the Packers. Besides missing the entire 2014 campaign, the 305-pound offensive guard sat out only a pair of regular season games during his Green Bay tenure, and he made 24 starts protecting Aaron Rodgers. Barclay has also appeared in eight career postseason games.

He was released with an injury settlement in October and quickly caught on with the Lions. However, after appearing in three games (one start) with his new team, Barclay suffered a season-ending concussion.

The 29-year-old will now try to crack a Saints rotation that’s seeking a top reserve. Jermon Bushrod and Cameron Tom appear to have the inside track on that “sixth man” role (via John Sigler of USA Today), although Barclay could certainly provide the duo with some competition. The Saints are also rostering Rick LeonardJosh LeRibeus, and Bryce Harris.

Earlier tonight, the Saints added a pair of wide receivers in Michael Floyd and Brandon Tate.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Saints Sign WR Brandon Tate

The Saints have added another wideout. After signing Michael Floyd earlier tonight, the team has also added receiver Brandon Tate, reports Nick Underhill of The New Orleans Advocate (via Twitter). Josh Katzenstein The Times-Picayune tweets that the Saints have also placed wideout Travin Dural on the injured reserve.

The 30-year-old Tate spent the past two seasons with the Bills, including a 2017 campaign where he hauled in 6 receptions for 81 yards and one touchdown. In recent years, he’s primarily played a role on special teams, serving as both a kick and punt returner. The former third-rounder has averaged 23.8 yards per kick return and 9.5 yards per punt return throughout his career.

Tate could slide into a special teams role in New Orleans. The Saints are reportedly looking to reduce running back Alvin Kamara‘s role in the return game, and while the team is still rostering Tommylee Lewis and Ted Ginn Jr., both players are accompanied by their own question marks (lack of production for Lewis, fumbles for Ginn). Saints coach Sean Payton recently admitted that the team’s return game is up in the air (via Joel A. Erickson of The Advocate.)

“Our return game, it’s kind of like ‘The Bachelor’ right now,” Payton said. “We’ve got about 12 contestants, all with roses. We don’t know who our returner’s going to be, and if she doesn’t like any of them, we’re bringing in more.”

Tate’s only had two seasons with more than 200 receiving yards, so it’s unlikely he’ll establish a role in a crowded receivers depth chart. Even with his special teams prowess, he’ll still have to compete for a roster spot with the likes of Lewis, Floyd, and Austin Carr.

Dural, a former LSU standout, joined the Saints as an undrafted free agent last offseason. He spent last season on New Orleans’ practice squad.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.