Month: June 2019

Saints Defensive Tackle Suspended to Start 2019 NFL Season

Adam Forsythe / June 28, 2019

After New Orleans Saints’ defensive tackle David Onyemata was cited for marijuana possession on February 7, 2019, many Saints fans were left to wonder how the NFL would discipline the rising star.

On Friday, June 28, the fans’ questions were finally answered. The league issued a one-game suspension to Onyemata. This suspension is significantly less than many had originally expected.

When fellow defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins suffered a torn Achilles during last season’s playoff matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles, the team already knew that they would be entering the next season shorthanded at the position. Then, once the news originally broke about Onyemata, it became even more unclear how the team would handle this difficult situation. To overcome this dilemma, the Saints signed defensive linemen Malcolm Brown and Mario Edwards Jr. during the offseason to add to the depth at the position.

The Saints week one matchup comes against the Houston Texans, so the Saints will be relying on their offseason additions to step up to the challenge. Luckily, the team also has a sneaky good player in Taylor Stallworth who could very well play a key role in the Saints’ defensive rotation this season.

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Pelicans Draft Zion Williamson with 1st Pick

Some people say expect the unexpected. Well, the New Orleans Pelicans did the exact opposite of what these people say, making the most predictable move of the decade by drafting Duke superstar Zion Williamson with the 1st overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.

Williamson, a 6-foot-7 Power Forward, is looked at to be the next face of the NBA. He averaged 22.6 points, 9 rebounds and 2 assists per game at Duke in just his freshman year. After putting up these monstrous stats, he decided to enter his name into the NBA draft pool, a move that was a surprise to nobody. Zion is undoubtedly the best player in this draft, and New Orleans is going to relish in the fact they landed him. He can do it all. He has fantastic bounce, soaring over opponents for highlight-reel dunks. He’s got a second-to-none post game. His combination of speed, size, and power make him almost unguardable. He also has definitive skills on the defensive side of the ball, shown off by his average of 1.8 blocks and 2 steals per game in college.

If there is anything negative anyone could say about Zion, it’s his lack of a jump shot. While he has improved his mid-range jumpshot, he still lacks skills as a 3-point shooter. He only made 33% of his three-pointers last season, granted he only shot about 2 per game. His shooting stroke will need to be improved, even slightly, to fully maximize his game at the next level.

Even without counting on him as a three-point shooter, New Orleans would have been ridiculous to pass up on Zion. He’s a force to be reckoned with on both ends of the floor. With the departure of Anthony Davis due to trade, Zion becomes the perfect young centerpiece of a rebuilding Pelicans franchise. Zion is ready to take the league by storm, and New Orleans is ready to see a return to winning basketball.

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Pelicans Trade Anthony Davis to Los Angeles Lakers

It’s been a long time coming for the New Orleans Pelicans. After leaks of Anthony Davis trade demands began just before the trade deadline in February, one question has been at the forefront of every Pelicans fans’ mind, “Where is New Orleans going to send AD?” Well, that question has just been answered.

On June 15th at 5:27 PM, infamous NBA Insider and reporter Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the New Orleans Pelicans front office, led by newly acquired Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations David Griffin, agreed to a trade with the Los Angeles Lakers. In return for Davis, the Pelicans will receive Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and three first-round picks, one of which being the 4th overall pick in the upcoming 2019 NBA Draft.

The Pelicans pulled a great haul for a generational talent in Davis. All three players they received are 24 years are younger, giving the Pels great young talent to build around. Ball, while not a fantastic scorer, shows endless potential in his playmaking and defensive skills. Ingram, when healthy, is a skilled scoring wing, putting up 18 points per game last season. Hart also gives a needed fire off the New Orleans bench. Gaining the 4th pick means they will have now have two top-4 picks, as they won the lottery back in May to be awarded the 1st overall pick. The 1st pick will presumably be Duke superstar Zion Williamson, a 6 foot 7 wrecking ball preparing to wreck havoc upon the NBA. The 4th pick is not so predictable though, as there is multiple routes New Orleans could choose to explore.

Whatever the case may be for the future, it sure looks bright in the present. The Pelicans took a negative situation due to non-stop media coverage on the Davis drama and turned into one of the most electrifying trades the NBA has ever seen. There is no doubt this trade will impact New Orleans and Los Angeles in a huge matter. While the future is not certain, one thing is for sure. Anthony Davis is no longer a Pelican.

Saints and Cameron Jordan Reach an Agreement on a Contract Extension

Adam Forsythe / June 11, 2019

Ever since the New Orleans Saints selected defensive end Cameron Jordan in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft, he has provided the team with a dominant pass rusher who is one of the top defenders in the league. With a contract nearing an extension, the Saints wanted to make sure that they could keep their star defensive player in New Orleans even longer. The team accomplished just that.

On Tuesday morning, the Saints announced that they have reached an agreement with Jordan on an extension that will keep him wearing black and gold through the 2023 season. The three-year deal is worth $52.5 million and has a max of $55.5 million including over $42 million guaranteed.

The payday is well deserved for Jordan. Throughout his eight-year career, Jordan has earned 71.5 sacks, 409 total tackles, and 143 quarterback hits. Jordan’s sack and QB hit stats rank him fourth and first respectively all-time for the Saints.

The Saints’ star pass rusher has never missed a game in his career. Saints fans will surely be ecstatic to watch Jordan dominate on the field for the next four years.

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Saints Announce their 2019 Hall of Fame Class

Adam Forsythe / June 5, 2019

The New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame was founded in 1987, and almost every year since then (excluding 2005) at least one inductee to be immortalized in Saints’ history. On Wednesday morning, the team announced their 2019 hall of fame class.

Former wide receiver Marques Colston and running back Reggie Bush were announced as the latest members of this prestigious club. Several events regarding this hall of fame class will take place during the weekend of October 25-27, which corresponds with the team’s week 8 matchup with the Arizona Cardinals.

During their time with the Saints, both Colston and Bush were fan-favorites. They both entered the league in the 2006 NFL Draft as the Saints selected Bush with their first-round selection and then selected Colston near the end of the seventh round. This was also the first draft class under current head coach Sean Payton.

Throughout his five years with the Saints, Bush accumulated 2,090 rushing yards and 17 rushing touchdowns. However, he was even more explosive through the air as he hauled in 294 receptions for 2,142 yards and 12 touchdowns. Bush’s stats rank him 12th all-time in franchise rushing yards, and 13th in franchise rushing touchdowns.

Colston spent ten years with the Saints and made the most of every opportunity. Colston caught 711 passes for 9,759 yards and 72 touchdowns. Colston leads the franchise in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns.

Colston and Bush were both apart of the Saints historic Super Bowl run during the 2009 season. They both played pivotal roles in one of the most explosive offenses in the league. Now that they will both be enshrined in the Saints’ Hall of Fame, their greatness can be recognized by future generations of Saints’ fans who were unable to watch them dominate on the field.

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