July 21, 2008

Saints Approaching Training Camp Without Draft Picks

Loomis not optimistic about signing top pick Ellis; Shockey to report for physical before camp

The Jeremy Shockey trade isn't quite official, he still has to pass a physical today and tomorrow in Jackson.

Mickey Loomis has admitted that the Saints might have paid a little rich a price. Loomis noted that Shockey, 27, is well likely be his teammates, notably not mentioning QB Eli Manning. Shockey and Manning were reportedly privately at odds during the last season.

Loomis has also noted that Shockey is a young player under contract for the next four years. The fourth year though carries nearly $7 million between base salary and roster bonus. Shockey is also reportedly not happy with his current contract, an extension signed in 2005.

Shockey will wear #88, his collegiate jersey number.

Shockey is expected to step in at the starting spot at tight end. Mark Campbell, Eric Johnson, Billy Miller, and Ronnie Ghent were on top of the chart before the trade. The Saints will keep three, maybe four at the position.

The Saints cut TE Buck Ortega to make room for Shockey's arrival.

Draft Picks: The Saints have three of their six draft picks signed. Fifth rounder Carl Nicks will likely report on time and sign his contract before camp, but the rough part is the top two picks. Saints GM Mickey Loomis says he isn't optimistic about getting seventh overall selection Sedrick Ellis and 40th overall pick Tracy Porter into camp on time.

In the past ten years, the Saints have found exactly two first round picks in camp, on time, for the first meetings. Those picks were Ricky Williams in 1999 and Robert Meachem last year. Even some of the Saints' second round picks, like Darren Howard and Devery Henderson have been late. But cutting it close is a league-wide habit as agents and teams put off jumping the gun and making a deal that comparatively may not be favorable.

In Ellis' case, the yet-unsigned contract for Chiefs rookie DT Glenn Dorsey is what the Saints are waiting for.

Geathers Cut: Son of former Saint Jumpy Geathers, Jeremy, was cut earlier last week to make room for the draft pick signees.

Camp Arms: The Saints have cut backup quarterback Travis Lulay, a long shot to compete anyway, before camp starts. They may bring him back during camp at some point, or find another street free agent. Teams usually carry more than three quarterbacks on their training camp roster - someone has to throw balls to the team's 15 wideouts and tight ends - but the Saints may be satisfied with Brees, Mark Brunell and Tyler Palko in camp and only Brees and Brunell on the 53-man roster. Given the age of Brees and Brunell, we should be seeing lots of Palko in preseason.

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