According to Nick Underhill and our partners at the New Orleans Advocate, the Saints are looking to trade cornerback Delvin Breaux after growing frustrations with his injury history the past three years. Sean Payton wouldn't say much about it:
"We would never comment if we were to begin with. It rarely works that way. It's very normal throughout training camp for teams to discuss different players and possible trades, we've seen a couple already that are really unique, the three- team trade last week was interesting, but I wouldn't comment on that. That would be club business."Breaux is a New Orleans native with quite the path to the NFL. Playing for McDonogh 35, he broke several vertebrates in his neck in high school during a special teams play. LSU honored his scholarship, but he never stepped on the field in Baton Rouge. He worked his way back, playing arena league football, then playing in the CFL, before the Saints gave him a chance.
He became one of the best cornerbacks in the league his rookie campaign, but last season he suffered a broken fibula in week one. He returned to action, then suffered a shoulder sprain which landed him on the injured reserve. Now, he's missed more than a week of training camp practice due to a leg contusion.The Saints cut veteran Keenan Lewis a year ago due to injury woes. They've also parted ways with Jarius Byrd and Dannell Ellerbe because they were often injured. Payton spoke about the importance of being available to play.
"Listen I think it's important to be out here but again I wouldn't want to get into specifics as to each one of these guys, but availability obviously is probably as important as everything else."
Rookie cornerback Marshon Lattimore was back at practice today. He wasn't in pads, but he did some individual work. The Saints drafted him 11th overall. Payton was asked about the current competition at cornerback - the team has a lot of depth at the position this camp due to the injury concerns at the position last year."Good, these guys are playing well. I like the competition. Marshon was back out there today and he's close."
Another great sign, veteran center Max Unger was back at practice today, Payton saying today he expects Unger to play in a preseason game at some point.
"It's on schedule, it's on schedule. What did I say? Third preseason game? Alright - it's on schedule, that's a goal right now. The question would be just how we handle the third preseason (game) or maybe the fourth preseason (game) but I'm pretty confident that he's going to get some preseason work in a game and then, he's doing well. Our plan is, he's going to get some, I don't know if he'll get team reps this week but he's out there now, shoulder pads. Now it's just a question of moving him into, and catch up with where everyone else is."
Unger has been missed at practice. The backup centers have had issues with erratic snaps. Even Drew Brees is frustrated. At Saturday's practice Josh LeRibeus snapped the ball to high and by the time Brees corralled it, he was being sacked. Following the play, Brees lost his cool, spiking his helmet and yelling.
Today's practice finished about an hour early. Payton says that was by design.
"Different tempo today with practice. Helmets and shoulder pads and tried to get a few different areas covered, third down, redzone and then towards the end, two point plays... Part of our plan was to get their legs back under them a little bit and still get some good work... overall got done what we wanted to get accomplished."
The team is off Tuesday, then back to work on Wednesday, before flying to California for joint practices with the Chargers and their second preseason game. Sean Payton had a special guest Sunday, Olympic star Carl Lewis. He spoke to the team last night.
"We probably had 10, 11 speakers in my time here and I can't recall one as decorated as he was. Until you start looking it up and going through his medals, the idea of being a gold medalist in 4 different Olympics is pretty impressive. I think he's only 1 of 3... Just talked about work and the will to win. Very impressive guy."