2018 ScheduleAll times ET

2018 Schedule
13-3, 1st in NFC South
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3dMike Triplett

Saints near deal with TE Cook, sources say

The Saints are on the verge of filling their most glaring need with Jared Cook, the top pass-catching tight end available in free agency this year, according to sources.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Count TE Jared Cook himself among those suggesting a deal with the Saints is close. When asked if he has agreed to a deal with New Orleans, Cook winked and told ESPN's Jamison Hensley, "Maybe," while at an event honoring the NFL's Ed Block Courage Award winners. Cook then said "it's going to be pretty awesome" catching passes from Drew Brees. "I've been a big fan of Drew for a long time and the way he approaches the game," Cook said. "He's on point. He's on top of his game right now. He's just a baller. I look forward to seeing him do great things in the future." When asked if he is surprised to be leaving Oakland, Cook said, "Yeah, but it's a business. They're still my guys. You take for what it is." ... Sources have described a Cook/Saints deal as close but not officially finalized yet.

0:52

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Top CB draft prospect Greedy Williams showed off his confidence among other skills at LSU's pro day Friday. When asked if he's the best cornerback in the draft, Williams smiled and replied "What?!"

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Saints secondary coaches Aaron Glenn and Peter Giunta running the drills for LSU's DBs, including top draft prospect Greedy Williams, at the Tigers' pro day.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

The Saints added yet another former Vikings player – agreeing to a deal with longtime Vikings punt returner Marcus Sherels, a source confirmed. Sherels has five career punt return TDs and just averaged 12.0 yards per return last season for the third time in his career. The Saints could use a boost after ranking in the NFL's bottom 10 in that category the past two years and letting return specialist Tommylee Lewis leave for the Lions in free agency. The St. Paul Pioneer Press was the first to report Sherels' deal, saying it was for one year. Other terms have not been disclosed.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Saints WR Cameron Meredith agreed to a pay cut that reduced his base salary from $3.4 million to $1.3 million, a source told ESPN's Field Yates, dropping his salary-cap number to $4.15 million. That makes sense, since the Saints are still optimistic about Meredith's potential now that he is almost two years removed from a major knee injury. But they had to weigh whether it was worth keeping him when he was due a total of $5.05 million in salary and bonuses. If Meredith returns to form this summer, he still has a chance to emerge as New Orleans' top slot receiver – especially since they didn't sign any of the top slot receivers available on the free agent market this year.

Stephen A. storms off the set after Max's take on Brees (0:49)

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Saints center Max Unger said health was a big reason for his decision to retire after he had been dealing with a long-term lower body injury. “I didn't think I could make it through another season,” said the 10-year veteran, who said his doctor recommended a surgery that would have sidelined him for most of the offseason. Unger made the Pro Bowl this past season but didn't think he was still playing up to his standard, which is a “tough pill to swallow.” And he said he knew from experience that his performance was affected in 2017 when he missed most of the summer because of foot surgery. Unger said he made his decision in the last month or so and let the Saints know in plenty of time before the start of free agency.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

The Saints have a new top contender to fill Max Unger's starting center job. They agreed to a four-year, $24 million deal with former Vikings guard/center Nick Easton, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter. Easton, 26, missed all of last season with a neck injury. But he started 17 games at both guard and center for the Vikings in 2016 and 2017. He should compete with third-year pro Cameron Tom for the Saints' starting center job.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Center Max Unger's decision to retire comes as a big surprise publicly, anyway, considering the 10-year veteran just made his third Pro Bowl in 2018 while anchoring one of the NFL's best offensive lines. It's unclear how long the Saints have known about Unger's plans, though they did meet with at least one free agent G/C this week in Nick Easton. Third-year C/G Cameron Tom and second-year G/C Will Clapp are also in-house candidates. But Unger won't be easily replaced as a player, captain and leader. The only silver lining is the Saints will save $6.95 million in salary-cap space to try and help fill the void.

This Just In  

Saints C Max Unger has been placed on the reserve/retired list - Field Yates

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

The Saints doubled down on defensive tackles by agreeing to a two-year deal with Mario Edwards on Friday after signing Malcom Brown on Thursday. Sources confirmed the agreement with Edwards, which was first reported by the New Orleans Advocate. Edwards, 25, hasn't yet reached his potential yet as the 35th pick in the 2015 draft after spending three years with the Raiders and one with the Giants. But he should provide rotational depth at a position that will be thin while starter Sheldon Rankins recovers from a torn Achilles. The 6-3, 280-pounder also has the versatility to play DE if needed.

Team Stats

Passing Yards252.612th
Rushing Yards126.66th
Points For31.53rd
Points Against22.114th