New Orleans Saints Rumors & News

Saints LB Nathan Stupar Done For Season

Saints linebacker Nathan Stupar will miss the remainder of the 2017 season after tearing his ACL on Sunday, according to Herbie Teope of the Times-Picayune (Twitter link).Nathan Stupar (Vertical)

[RELATED: Saints Audition RB Khiry Robinson]

Stupar injured his knee while covering a punt, and special teams were a key area of focus for him during his time with New Orleans. In fact, Stupar hadn’t played a single defensive snap this year. He’d seen action on nearly half the club’s special teams plays, however, and helped the Saints to the No. 17 ranking in ST DVOA, a massive improvement from 2016.

Stupar has plenty of NFL experience under his belt, as he’s appeared in 63 games and made nine starts during his five-plus year pro career. He’s under Saints control through 2018, but given his age (29) and his cap number ($2.125MM), it wouldn’t be surprising to see New Orleans cut ties this offseason, as doing so would save the club $1.725MM in cap space.

Not much should change on the Saints’ defense as a result of Stupar’s injury, as Craig Robertson, A.J. Klein, and Manti Te’o will continue to see the most snaps. On special teams, the newly-signed Gerald Hodges and/or Adam Bighill — who was promoted from the practice squad over the weekend — could be deployed more frequently.

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Minor NFL Transactions: 10/16/17

Today’s minor moves:

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

New Orleans Saints

Oakland Raiders

NFL Workout Updates: 10/16/17

Today’s workout updates, with all links going to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter account unless otherwise noted:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Detroit Lions

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

San Francisco 49ers

Saints Work Out Khiry Robinson

Days after shaking up their running back depth chart, the Saints are looking into some reinforcements. New Orleans worked out old friend Khiry Robinson on Monday, according to Nick Underhill of The Advocate (on Twitter). Khiry Robinson

The bulk of Robinson’s NFL experience has been with the Saints and he enjoyed best season with New Orleans in 2014. In that year, he had 362 rushing yards and three touchdowns off of 76 carries plus eight receptions for 63 yards.

Robinson hooked on with the Jets in 2016, but it proved to be a jinxed season. First, the running back broke his leg during the Jets’ preseason finale. Then, he returned to the field in December only to injure his leg yet again in his first game back.

If Robinson is healthy, coach Sean Payton & Co. may look to sign him as a backup to top runners Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara. Currently, UDFA Trey Edmunds is serving as the team’s No. 3 RB.

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Cowboys To Host LB NaVorro Bowman

The Cowboys will host free agent linebacker NaVorro Bowman following his visit with the Raiders, which will take place on Monday, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Meanwhile, the Saints have also emerged as a possible suitor for Bowman, per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk (Twitter link).NaVorro Bowman (vertical)

Dallas recently witnessed linebacker Anthony Hitchens return from injury, but All Pro Sean Lee missed Week 5 with a hamstring issue and could potentially be sidelined going forward. Former second-round pick Jaylon Smith, meanwhile, has struggled in his first live action since suffering a devastating knee injury in his final collegiate game. The Cowboys rank just 29th in defensive DVOA and are dead last in rush defense DVOA, so adding a free agent of Bowman’s caliber should be able to improve those marks.

New Orleans’ defense isn’t much better than the Cowboys’, as the Saints ranks 30th against the run per DVOA. They’ve dealt with injuries at linebacker as well, as rookie Alex Anzalone was recently placed on injured reserve, while the team lost a bit of depth by trading Stephone Anthony to the Dolphins earlier this season. A.J. Klein and Craig Robertson are currently garnering most of the second level snaps for New Orleans.

Given the level of interest he’s generated, Bowman is expected to sign quickly — he hopes to have a new deal in place by Wednesday, reports Florio.

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Ravens Had Interest In Adrian Peterson

The Ravens had interest in trading for running back Adrian Peterson before the Saints dealt him to the Cardinals, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (video link).Adrian Peterson (vertical)

New Orleans ultimately acquired a 2018 conditional sixth-round pick for Peterson, so it’s unclear if Baltimore simply didn’t want to meet that asking price, or if Peterson perhaps indicated he’d prefer to play for the Cardinals. Peterson claims he did not request a trade away from the Saints, but it’s entirely possible general manager Mickey Loomis & Co. allowed him some say on his destination.

Baltimore has dealt with a number of injuries at the running back position, as Kenneth Dixon and Danny Woodhead are both on injured reserve. While Woodhead is eligible to begin practicing again in late October, the Ravens don’t currently have a timeline for his return, reports Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com. Dixon, meanwhile, will miss the entirety of the season, while Terrance West will be sidelined for a few weeks with a calf injury.

Javorius Allen and Alex Collins have handled the bulk of the Ravens’ carries in recent weeks, and figure to do so going forward. After missing out on Peterson, Baltimore re-signed veteran journeyman Bobby Rainey, who has already earned his paycheck in Week 6 by returning a kickoff for a 96-yard touchdown against the Bears.

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Could Saints Trade Hau'oli Kikaha?

  • Rapoport believes the Saints may be in the trading mood after failing to trade for Bowman, and he says the team could consider trading LB Hau’oli Kikaha (Twitter link). Josh Katzenstein of the Times-Picayune, however, suggests (via Twitter) that is not likely.

49ers Agreed To Trade NaVorro Bowman To Saints

We learned last night that at least two teams had serious interest in trading for former 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman before he was released by San Francisco, and it turns out that one of those interested teams was the Saints. As ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports, the 49ers agreed to trade Bowman to New Orleans for a seventh-round draft pick, but the Saints learned the veteran linebacker preferred to be a free agent and talk to all teams before deciding on one. As such, the 49ers opted to grant Bowman’s wish and give him his release instead of going forward with the trade.

NaVorro Bowman (vertical)

Schefter adds that San Francisco also engaged in trade talks with the Ravens, Browns, and Panthers, but none of those teams appear to be vying for Bowman’s services in free agency. Instead, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets, there is strong mutual interest between Bowman and the Raiders, and Bowman appears set to visit Oakland in the coming days.

In related news, Schefter reports that the 49ers have not had any trade talks involving running back Carlos Hyde — despite speculation to the contrary — and they do not plan to have any such talks. We heard just last week, of course, that San Francisco was attempting to extend the oft-injured RB, who is set to become a free agent at the end of the year.

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