Newspaper owner pays Saints players

NEW ORLEANS -- The company that owns the Times-Picayune is paying five New Orleans Saints players including quarterback Drew Brees to promote the newspaper's website through the social media website Twitter.

Receiver Lance Moore, cornerback Tracy Porter, running back Pierre Thomas and linebacker Jonathan Vilma also are being paid undisclosed sums by Advance Digital. The five players combined have close to 900,000 Twitter followers, with Brees having the most at nearly 700,000.

The players' tweets provide links to the recently redesigned Saints community page on NOLA.com, which is affiliated with the Times-Picayune and features the newspaper's content.

John Hassell, Advance Digital vice president of content, says the players are sending out eight messages combined during the second half of October.

Advance Digital is affiliated with Advance Publications Inc., which owns the Times-Picayune.