July 19, 2002

Saints "Keeping Their Options Open" With Free Agents

The Saints are "keeping their options open" with current free agents, according to head coach Jim Haslett.

The Saints worked out ex-Vikings S Orlando Thomas at their headquarters today, and previously visited with free agent runningback Terry Allen.

Thomas, a Louisiana native, has at least one interception in every season since 1995 and 15 career overall. Thomas was caught up in the massive overhaul the Vikings did this offseason when he was released in February after not being selected by the Houston Texans in the expansion draft. Thomas had 45 tackles last season but was benched at times last season after he and the entire Vikings defense began to fall apart at the seams in mid-season. Thomas and Tyrone Carter were rotated in and out of the starting lineup by head coach Denny Green last season.

Thomas also had a workout with the Houston Texans in May.

Allen was with the Saints in 2000 when he was signed to replace the injury Ricky Williams. Allen had 46 attempts for 179 yards and two touchdowns in four games as a Saint. Last season he was signed by the Baltimore Ravens after they lost their star RB Jamal Lewis to a knee injury. Allen missed five games, though, with a sprained ankle and a broken hand. Allen did lead the Ravens in rushing with 168 carries for 658 yards and three touchdowns, and 17 receptions for 68 yards.

The Saints had workouts scheduled with QB Charlie Batch and RB Kijana Carter, but both players signed elsewhere beforehand. Batch signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Carter signed with the Green Bay Packers.

The Saints are also rumored to be interested in Buffalo RB Shawn Bryson, a power-runner who is on the trade block. The Eagles are also interested in Bryson's services, but the Bills' asking price is reportedly too high. Buffalo is looking for a third round pick that could escalate to a second round selection.

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