New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton is determined that his NFL team will jump back into the playoffs this season. After three 7-9 seasons, the Saints will get down to business for the 2017 season on Thursday at the Saints practice facility in Metairie.
The Saints players will report in on Wednesday and open practice on Thursday from 8:50 a.m.-11:40 a.m.a practice session in jerseys that will be closed to the public but open to the media.\
Four players won't be participating. Left tackle Terron Armstead, offensive lineman Senio Kelemete, center Max Unger and linebacker Dannell Ellerbe have been placed on the physically unable to perform list, better known as the PUP list. There names were among those listed on Monday's NFL Transactions report.
Ellerbe has endured an injury prone career with the Saints and missed some practice time during minicamp. Kelemete has been missing in action while Armstead is recovering from a torn labrum in June and Unger is recovering from foot surgery in May.
Players on the PUP list can return to the team if they are placed on the list before training camp, once they are cleared to play. Armstead is another story. He's is projected to be out of action from 4 to 6 months.
In other Saints news, linebacker and special teams player Michael Mauti, re-signed with the team. His deal is said to be for $775,000 in base salary, a guaranteed $125,000, plus a signing bonus for $80,000.
Mauti watched his 2016 season come to an abrupt end in November when doctors discovered that he was suffering from ulcerative colitis and underwent three surgeries. The doctors had to remove his large intestine.
There's no question the Saints received a bargain when wide receiver Willie Snead signed a tender as an exlusive-rights free agent with a base salary of $650,000. In two seasons with New Orleans, the 24-year-old Snead has hauled-in 141 passes and 7 touchdowns.
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