METAIRIE, LA. -- Looks like it was fairly quiet as I made my way from Tampa over to Louisiana on Monday afternoon to cover New Orleans Saints' minicamp Tuesday.
There weren’t many headlines to choose from, so let’s take a quick run through the ones that were most significant.
In what has been a strange offseason in New Orleans, here’s another strange story. Saints general manager Mickey Loomis, who is suspended for the first eight games of the season, watched players work out for the NBA’s New Orleans Hornets. Saints owner Tom Benson recently agreed to buy the basketball team and has said Loomis will have a supervisory role. That’s great. Loomis knows how to conduct business, but shouldn’t he have all his attention at the moment focused on getting quarterback Drew Brees signed to a long-term deal?
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will hold a news conference Wednesday to announce the next member of their Ring of Honor. This could come with some drama. The Bucs previously have inducted John McKay, Lee Roy Selmon and Jimmie Giles. The next logical inductee would be former quarterback Doug Williams. But he left a position with the team’s front office on bad terms. The Bucs could try to rebuild that bridge by going with Williams or they could go with some other candidates from their early history -- like Kevin House or Ricky Bell. The other option would seem to be skipping ahead to guys like Derrick Brooks, Warren Sapp, John Lynch and Mike Alstott. Or the Bucs could skip only slightly ahead and go with someone like offensive tackle Paul Gruber. My guess is the Bucs will stay true to history and induct someone from the 1970s or ‘80s. Once they jump to players from the 1990s, it will be difficult to go back in time.
Mike Triplett points out the Saints still have some other appeals pending on their punishments in the bounty program. All of them may be long shots, but the Saints, particularly linebacker Jonathan Vilma and defensive end Will Smith have nothing to lose at this point.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers continue to say they will build through the NFL draft and I think that largely is true. But the Bucs aren’t going to hesitate when it comes to trying to add some veterans to fill holes. The latest example came Monday as the Bucs signed defensive linemen Wallace Gilberry and Jayme Mitchell. Both have spent the last few seasons bouncing around the NFL. With Da’Quan Bowers recovering from a torn Achilles tendon, the Bucs need to look under every rock for potential help on the defensive line.