METAIRIE, La. - After leading the Saints to a fourth playoff appearance in five seasons, Drew Brees expressed confidence in the direction of his team and, perhaps more importantly, showed a willingness to listen to contract proposals if the team needs his help getting under the NFLs salary cap. "Listen, I get compensated very well. I dont take that for granted for one second," Brees said Monday, referring to the five-year, $100 million deal he signed in 2012. "But I play this game because I love this game, I love this locker room and I love the opportunity to win a championship. "If they want to come to me and extend me even further, thatd be great," Brees said. "Whatever helps this team win and puts the best team on the field." With Sean Payton returning from his bounty suspension, the Saints improved their regular-season record from 7-9 to 11-5, then won the franchises first road playoff game in six tries, beating the Eagles in Philadelphia in the wild card round before falling at top-seeded Seattle, 23-15 on Saturday. Brees eclipsed 5,000 yards passing for a third straight season to go with 39 touchdowns. Meanwhile, New Orleans defence went from worst in the league a year ago to fourth in total defence under first-year co-ordinator Rob Ryan. And that improvement came despite a rash of injuries. All in all, it looks as if the Saints arent far off from Super Bowl contention — if they can find the salary cap space to keep some top free agents such as tight end Jimmy Graham, who led New Orleans with 1,215 yards receiving and 16 touchdowns. Brees contract calls for him to have a base salary of $10.75 million next season, which along with his pro-rated $37 million signing bonus will put his 2014 salary cap figure above $18 million. Graham has said his preference would be to remain with Brees in New Orleans. The Saints can secure Graham for at least another year by placing the franchise tag on the four-year veteran, but players and teams generally prefer to avoid that route and seek long-term extensions instead. Other starters entering free agency include free safety Malcolm Jenkins, right tackle Zach Strief and centre Brian de la Puente. Strief, who has spent his entire eight-year career in New Orleans, said he wants to be back, but would clean his locker out entirely for the first time, knowing the Saints might not match other offers in what he views as his last, best chance to sign a new contract. "Obviously this organizations been a big part of my life and I feel like Ive been part of the success here and you dont want to leave that," Strief said. "The reality of the situation is I think theres going to be other possible outcomes, and theres other teams, possibly, and you prepare for that — not because its what you want but because its the reality." Jenkins, a five-year veteran, said he, too, wants to return, but understands "it doesnt always work out that way." Still, he emphasized he was proud to be part of a defence that made enormous progress this season. "Theres not a group of guys that Id rather play with," Jenkins said. "Weve come a long way, obviously night and day from last year." One problem for New Orleans is that its existing contracts would likely place the club more than $10 million above the 2014 salary cap, which has not yet been set, but is expected to be in the range of $125 million. One way teams seek salary cap relief is by renegotiating with, or releasing, veteran players with the largest base salaries. In New Orleans case, those players could include outside linebacker Will Smith, left guard Ben Grubbs, cornerback Jabari Greer, defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley, safety Roman Harper and receiver Lance Moore. Smith spent the season on injured reserve after tearing a knee ligament in the preseason. Greer had season-ending torn ligaments in his knee in November. Yet the injuries also provided opportunities for younger players, many of whom demonstrated significant growth and will remain under contracts less burdensome to the club. Those included rookie left tackle Terron Armstead, who took over as starter in Week 16, second-year defensive end Akiem Hicks, fourth-year outside linebacker Junior Galette, as well as rookie receiver Kenny Stills and rookie running back Khiry Robinson. Payton refused to address potential personnel moves, but confidently brushed aside questions about New Orleans impending salary cap constraints. "Were going to be in good shape," Payton said. "Obviously when theres change from season to season, theres attrition. Theres the younger players that are coming in and the players eventually that have been here that are no longer on the team. I think thats pretty normal, and well be ready for the challenge." Authentic Vincent Lecavalier Jersey
. -- Henry Josey watched helplessly from the sideline last fall, rehabbing from a serious knee injury, while Missouri was getting pushed around in its first SEC season. Authentic Martin St. Louis Jersey
.com) - The New York Rangers hope to punch their ticket to the second round when they visit the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday for a Game 6 battle at Wells Fargo Center. http://www.cheaplightningjerseysauthent ... son-jersey
. Some teams got significantly better, some teams divested themselves of talent and some teams had quiet afternoons, keeping the status quo. Authentic Anton Stralman Jersey
. Bowditch, the 30-year-old Australian seeking his first PGA Tour title, shot a 4-under 68 to reach 12 under at TPC San Antonio. Matt Kuchar and Andrew Loupe were tied for second. Kuchar shot 65, and Loupe had a 70. Authentic J.T. Miller Jersey
. Mired in an offensive slump, Lowry - the NBAs leader in taking charges this season - did what he has learned to do best, standing his ground and drawing a crucial offensive foul on the Cavaliers all-star point guard. Fast forward 30 seconds to the Cavs next possession, with the home team still trailing by three, Spencer Hawes - one of the leagues best passing big men - threw an interception, intended for Tyler Zeller and picked off by DeMar DeRozan.Dayton, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - The Dayton Flyers, just days after receiving the No. 22 ranking in the nation, will try to rebound from a tough loss as they host the Richmond Spiders in an Atlantic 10 Conference battle at UD Arena. Dayton went into Tuesdays matchup against Davidson owning an eight-game win streak, and a 15-2 record on the season. The 22nd-ranked Flyers however, instantly fell behind to Davidson as the Wildcats opened up a lead and ran to a 77-60 upset win. At home, Dayton is a perfect 10-0 this season. Richmond has been on the upswing lately, with three wins in the teams last four games. The Spiders are coming off an 89-63 clobbering of the very same Davidson team that just beat up on Dayton. However, Richmond is just 3-2 in A-10 play this season, and a dismal 0-6 on the road. Dayton leads the all-time series against Richmond, 13-9, and has won 10-of-11 matchups at UD Arena. The two sides split the season series a year ago, with each squad winning on its home court. Richmonds crushing of the Wildcats last Saturday at the very least lends toward the Spiders potentially pulling off an upset this time around. The Spiders were sensational shooting the ball, connecting on 57.4 percent from the floor on their home court last weekend. Richmond hit on 14-of-31 from 3- point range, and made 13-of-16 from the free-throw line. Kendall Anthony scored 25 points to pace the Spiders in the win, while T.J. Cline chipped in with 23 points and six boards, and Terry Allen added 21 points, six rebounds and five assists. Alonzo Nelson-Ododa contributed 15 points off the bench to the effort. Richmonds scoring offense has been lacking at times this season, although that wasnt the case against Davidson. The Spiders are in the bottom half of the Atlantic 10 rankings in terms of scoring offfense, averaging 64.dddddddddddd4 ppg this season. Richmond is led on offense by Anthony, who nets 16.3 ppg this season - just over a point on average less than the conferences leading scorer. Allen chips in with 11.8 ppg, and Cline rounds out the trio of double-digit scorers at 11.3 ppg. The teams defense has been relatively stellar this season, however, holding opponents to just 59.9 ppg, which ranks fourth in the A-10 defensively. Davidsons offense was rather stagnant when the Wildcats played on the road a week ago against Richmond, but that wasnt the case at all as the team hosted the Flyers on Tuesday. The Wildcats were allowed to hit on 51.7 percent of their shots from the floor as they opened up a 12-point halftime lead and never looked back. Dayton shot well still, hitting 48.9 percent from the field. Jordan Sibert and Kendall Pollard each scored 23 points to lead the team, while Dyshawn Pierre grabbed a team-best eight rebounds. Scoochie Smith dished out a team-best six assists in the defeat. Like Richmond, Dayton has prided itself on a strong scoring defense this season as the Flyers head into Saturday holding opponents to 59.1 ppg - second in the Atlantic 10. Although Daytons offense is ranked roughly in the middle of the pack in the league in terms of scoring (68.5 ppg), the Flyers have a handful of players that can do damage at any given time. Sibert leads the team in scoring at 16.1 ppg, followed by Pierres 12.2 ppg, and Pollards 11.2 ppg. Devon Scott averages 9.1 ppg and a team-best rebounding average of 7.4 boards per outing. Only trouble is Scott is out due to disciplinary reasons, so Pierre is the teams active rebounding leader (7.2 rpg). Smith has dished out a team-high 76 assists in 18 contests started, averaging 4.2 per game (third in the league). cheap falcons jerseys cheap ravens jerseys cheap bills jerseys cheap bears jerseys cheap bengals jerseys cheap cowboys jerseys cheap lions jerseys cheap texans jerseys cheap colts jerseys cheap jaguars jerseys cheap chiefs jerseys cheap rams jerseys cheap dolphins jerseys cheap vikings jerseys cheap saints jerseys cheap giants jerseys cheap jets jerseys cheap eagles jerseys cheap steelers jerseys cheap 49ers jerseys
' ' '