Saints SS Roman Harper's new contract is worth $10.5 million over three years.
They basically tore up Harper's old deal -- which put him among the NFL's ten highest paid safeties -- and are now guaranteeing only $4 million of a contract worth $3.5 million annually. Harper took a large pay cut, and none of his payments are guaranteed beyond 2013. Harper will compete for snaps with Malcolm Jenkins and Kenny Vaccaro. All three could play in three-safety sets.
Saints SS Roman Harper has agreed to an "extension" that pays him $4 million guaranteed this season.
We've air quoted "extension" because it's actually a pay-cut. Harper had been set to make $5.25 million this season, with $2.6 million of it guaranteed. The extra year, 2015, allows the Saints to stretch out bonus money and cap hits. Harper has no guaranteed money beyond 2013. Considering Harper's nightmarish 2012 play, it's not a bad deal for the 30-year-old safety.
Saints WR Joe Morgan is trying to improve as a short-to-intermediate route runner.
The deep threat hauled in 10 catches for an eye-popping 379 yards last season. "You've seen the highlight plays, so that means all the other 31 teams have seen the highlight reel plays," Morgan said. "They're not going to keep letting me run up and down the field. Eventually guys are going to start playing softer coverage and play back me back a little bit." While stretching the field will remain Morgan's primary objective in 2013, it's possible his role will increase enough to garner WR4/5 consideration in fantasy leagues. He's a player to watch this summer.
Saints SS Roman Harper has agreed to a restructured contract.
It's been a long-time coming, but it's unclear what the sides have done. $2.6 million of Harper's $5.25 million base salary became guaranteed by virtue of remaining on the roster through March. It's possible his salary has been slashed to only the guaranteed amount. Harper's play in 2012 would certainly dictate such a move. The full details of the restructure should soon emerge.
Will Smith was running with the Saints' first-team defense at outside linebacker in OTAs this week.
Smith and Martez Wilson were with the ones, while Junior Galette and Victor Butler were with the twos. As we pointed out days ago, this attempt by the Saints to move 6-foot-3, 282-pound Smith to stand-up edge rusher is quite comical. Galette and Butler are younger and much more talented at this stage of their respective careers. Smith, due $3 million, is a candidate to be released.
Saints LT Charles Brown (undisclosed) did not participate in OTAs this week.
Brown suffered a "little injury while weightlifting." He was working on the sidelines with a trainer on Thursday, and coach Sean Payton stressed the injury is "nothing significant." Brown is expected to get the first crack at the starting left tackle spot, but Jason Smith worked with the ones in his absence.
Saints GM Mickey Loomis says Will Smith will start off at outside linebacker in OTAs.
Smith is 6-foot-3, 282 pounds. It's a comical attempt to fit Smith into the Saints' new 3-4 defense, and an experiment almost certain to end in failure. Aside from a few snaps at weak-side linebacker as a rookie, Smith has spent his entire career as a base 4-3 end. Due a non-guaranteed $3 million after restructuring his contract, Smith is a candidate for trade or release.