September 4, 2002

Wilkerson: Brooks Deal All But Done

After months and months of changes to the staff front office and roster, and after weeks and weeks of practices and practice games, the Saints now embark on a game that counts and a chance for a little pay back. Truth be told, the Saints have been working on this game with Tampa since the Bucs eliminated them from playoff contention last year. They have become bigger, faster, and yes- better.

Tuesday saw the team hit the practice field with a sense of urgency in their demeanor, and it wasn't hard to see the team has turned up the heat.

Darren Howard, Wally Williams and Jake Reed are all day-to-day and we'll see by the end of the week who if any will be able to play on Sunday.

Michael Hawthorne appears to be the guy who will start at right corner. Kendyl Jacox will go at left guard.

The Saints started working with the crowd noise last week and continued to do the same on Tuesday. Aaron Brooks seems to have a good handle on checking off with the noise.

Speaking of Brooks, the Saints have upped the offer to him and would like to get his contract done before Sunday. As it stands right now, Brooks is guaranteed in excess of $10 million in bonus money, and sources close to the situation said that if Brooks doesn't take this deal he is nuts.

Brooks himself said over the weekend that he expects the deal to be done any day now.

So stay tuned, but we are telling you here at NOPF that the new contract is all but done.

Also the news on Dale Carter is also encouraging. Carter applied for reinstatement on Tuesday, this coming after he completed the league-mandated rehab program. Carter should get word from the commissioner by Sunday as to how long his suspension will last. NOPF reported earlier that the suspension should be no longer than six weeks.

Keep it here at NOPF for all the latest as the Saints make their way towards Tampa Bay.


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