March 1, 2007

Notes: Saints Re-Sign DT Lake: Saints make moves in the hours before free agency

Lake Signs: The Saints have pulled another player off the free agent market, re-signing DT Antwan Lake to a two year deal.

A member of the Saints' defensive tackle rotation, the one-gap Lake is a former Falcon. He had nine total tackles and one sack in 2006 appearing in 15 regular season games and both playoff games.

Restricted Free Agents: The Saints have extended tenders to two of their four restricted free agents: WR Terrance Copper and DT Rodney Leisle. Two other restricted free agents, LB Terrance Melton and CB DeJuan Groce, did not receive a tender and are now effectively unrestricted free agents.

The Saints are no entitled to any compensation should Terrance Copper sign an offer sheet, though they have the right of first refusal. Copper was an undrafted free agent signee as a rookie. Leisle, who was drafted in the fifth round, carries a fifth round compensatory pick should he leave.

Stinchcomb Top Priority: Right tackle Jon Stinchcomb is the highest priority Saint free agent and it appears that he will hit the open market.

Stinchcomb languished in obscurity for three years after being drafted in the second round in 2003. But given his first shot at a starting role, despite rehabbing from a torn patellar tendon, Stinchcomb grabbed the job in training camp and refused to give it up. His steady, quietly efficient play is exactly what the Saints expected, even if it took three years to find a return on the former Georgia Bulldog.

Give extra credit for Stinchcomb for playing essentially with one working arm in the NFC Championship game.

Almost Bly: The Saints were in the running for Detroit CB Dre' Bly today, but he was traded to Denver. It's hard to argue with the deal, as Denver gave up two starters, RB Tatum Bell and T George Foster, plus a draft pick for the aging two-time Pro Bowler.

Props from the President: "Sometimes it's hard to see progress when you're living close to the scene," President George Bush said today in his 14th visit to the city since Hurricane Katrina. "I guess the New Orleans Saints football team represents to me what's happening in this part of the state; a resurgence. There's a renewal."

Cignetti Hired in SF: Former Saints quarterbacks coach Frank Cignetti (2000-1), who was critical to Aaron Brooks' early success, is now the QB's coach in San Francisco under Mike Nolan. During a surreal time for quarterbacks in New Orleans, Cignetti worked with Jeff Blake, Brooks, Jake Delhomme, and Marc Bulger.

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