Such was the case in New Orleans. The Saints released wide receiver Hakeem Nicks on Monday, according to the club. The team also signed long snapper Chris Highland and announced that star left tackle Terron Armstead was coming off the physically unable to perform list.
Nicks’ career hit a speedbump after a 76-catch, 1,192-yard season in 2011. At that time, the tandem of Nicks and Victor Cruz was looked at as one of the NFL’s most feared receiving tandems. Nicks, at one point, was supposed to receive a similar mega-deal, but a series of injuries led to a sharp decline in production.
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported the development, helping to explain Lewis’ goodbye message Friday evening on Instagram. Lewis was limited to only six games last season because of surgeries for an MCL tear, torn labrum and sports hernia. Lewis was dealing with a hip problem this offseason. He was set to make $2.7 million.
The injuries were just too much for Lewis to overcome. The Saints telegraphed this move earlier this week when they signed Cortland Finnegan. They have decent cornerback depth with Delvin Breaux and second-year pro P.J. Williams, who has enjoyed a nice training camp.
Evan was drafted by New Orleans back in 2006. He missed just seven starts over 10 seasons with the club, who cut him in February after the veteran refused to agree to a pay cut.
After flaming out with the Seahawks this offseason, Evans would loom as an immediate starter with the Saints, who continue to shuffle their line just days before meeting the Raiders in the opener.
Former Browns and cheap jerseys and Ravens linebacker Paul Kruger will ink a deal with New Orleans, according to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport. The 30-year-old was let go by the Browns this week after three seasons and 18 sacks.
While Cleveland may be in a full on youth movement, the Saints have been stacking vets on defense all offseason long. Despite a promising young core that features players like Stephone Anthony, Delvin Breaux, Obum Gwacham and 2016 first-round pick Sheldon Rankins, the team also grabbed Cortland Finnegan and Roman Harper.
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Payton would like to see this year’s Saints take their own voyage back to the normalcy of winning on a regular basis. While that surprising 2006 squad went on to the NFC title game — the first of many glorious seasons for the franchise — this year’s Saints find themselves in an 0-2 hole after losing to the Raiders and Giants by a combined four points.
The problem hasn’t been Drew Brees, voyaging toward another monster campaign despite becoming the first quarterback since at least 1960 with five passing touchdowns, zero picks and a winless record after two games. The 37-year-old signal-caller has found new life through a pair of exciting young wideouts — Willie Snead and Brandin Cooks — whose 437 combined yards were more than any other receiving duo heading into Week 3. With Snead out with a toe injury, expect a heavier dose of Brandon Coleman and rookie pass-catcher Michael Thomas against Atlanta. The Saints would also like to get tight end Coby Fleener more involved after the free-agent addition has struggled to get on the same page with Brees.
This game meant everything to the Bucs, who remain tied with the Falcons (8-5) atop the NFC South and finish the year with the Cowboys, New Orleans and Panthers. The game meant less to the fading Saints, who play the Cardinals, Bucs and Falcons and need to go 3-0 to prevent their third-straight losing season.
We’re headed for an offseason of Roberto Aguayo “is in a new place mentally” articles, but the Bucs rookie kicker helped his case on Sunday, nailing field goals of 41, 39 and 26 yards. Still, it’s fair to note that Tampa didn’t trust Aguayo to try a 53-yarder with the Bucs up 16-11 with two-plus minutes to play.