April 28, 2010

Notes: Saints visiting with ex-Jags LB, Sharper visiting with Jags, rookie Brown hurting, more

Ingram Visits: The Saints have arranged a free agent visit with free agent LB Clint Ingram, released from his qualifying tender off by the Jaguars shortly after the conclusion of the NFL Draft.

Ingram, a third year player who was a restricted free agent, is now on the open market, and would not count against the Saints' limitations on free agent signings this offseason.

The Jaguars acquired Raiders MLB Kirk Morrison in a draft-day trade, sending Ingram to the bench and then, off the roster. 

Ingram had a solid rookie season but peaked - he hasn't improved much since.  The story on Ingram, a former third round pick out of Oklahoma, was that he was a steady but unremarkable linebacker, and that has held true.  Injuries have prevented him from ever finishing a complete season, and he ended last season on injured reserve with a shoulder injury.

Like many Saints restricted free agents who haven't signed their tenders, Ingram also opted to not sign his one-year RFA offer and instead sign an injury agreement and continue to work out with his team.

Ingram, who can play strongside linebacker, played for defensive coordinator in Jacksonville in 2008.

Sharper Visits: Meanwhile, the Jaguars are returning the favor, and visiting with free agent safety Darren Sharper.

The difference is, the Saints want Sharper back.

Sharper is also drawing strong interest from Dallas.  Following the draft, teams who didn't address key positions take a look at the free agents and begin visiting in earnest. That Sharper is visiting is possible confirmation that his knee surgery rehabilitation is progressing well.

As discussed on draft Thursday, the Saints picked up a cornerback, Patrick Robinson, in the first round.  This will allow their two flex defensive backs - Malcolm Jenkins and Usama Young, to focus solely on free safety.

Outspoken Saints TE Jeremy Shockey is doing his best to woo Sharper back:

Today: "Jags, Cowboys emerge as potential suitors for Darren Sharper!! NOOOOOOOOOOOO" and Dear Sharper pls dont sign with the Jags.. you have a home in New Orleans!!"

Yesterday: "Just got done eating with D Sharper!!! he looks great i hope the saints sign him"

 Brown slipped because of injury: The medical rapsheet on Saints second round pick Charles Brown continues to grow, and his slip to 64th overall in the draft is explained.  In addition to pulling his calf muscle at the scouting combine and a hamstring at his Pro Day, scouts are worried about a back injury and now, NFL Network is reporting a significant knee injury.   

All that injury news dilutes the need to move LT Jammal Brown off the roster, as it appears that Brown may be best served by getting his banged-up body healthy and adding some serious muscle to his frame.

Notes: Saints FB Heath Evans' charity softball game at Zephyr Field saw Drew Brees switch-hit homers.  The 37 Saints players in attendance included WR Lance Moore and RB Pierre Thomas, who haven't signed their RFA tenders, as the Saints played a squad of Armed Forces veterans for Evans' charity... Brees will speak at the Loyola University graduation ceremony on May 8 and will receive an honorary degree in the familiar confines of the Superdome... Saints head coach Sean Payton promoted his book on the Ellen show today, and gave her a personalized Saints jersey... Former Saints draft pick G Montrae Holland has re-signed in Dallas... NFL Hall of Famer Ricky Jackson and fellow Saints great Dalton Hilliard will appear at a crawfish cook-off in Houma, LA to benefit CASA...

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