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Saints general manager Mickey Loomis says the team will seriously evaluate quarterbacks in this year’s draft regardless of how negotiations toward a new deal with 12-year starter Drew Brees progress. ”Look Thurman Thomas Jersey , you evaluate everyone because you never know when you might make a move up to trade up higher and you end up picking in a position that you don’t expect,” Loomis said on Wednesday while meeting with reporters who are in Mobile, Alabama, for the Senior Bowl. ”That’s what our scouts do, what our personnel department does.” While Loomis said negotiations with Brees on a new contract have yet to commence, he sounded optimistic that the Saints and Brees will agree on an extension as they did in 2012 and again in 2016. ”This has happened before,” Loomis said. ”We want him to be our quarterback and we’ll get going on that at some point.” Loomis offered no indication that the Saints have been anything less than thrilled with Brees’ production and leadership, as well as the way he has continued to represent the franchise. He called Brees’ 2017 season ”fantastic,” adding, ”It’s beyond the numbers. It’s the leadership. He’s the face of our organization. He’s embraced being identified with New Orleans and all those things that are good for our community and him as well. ”Sometimes you feel a little awkward piling on these compliments, but he deserves them all http://www.dallascowboysteamonline.com/kavon-frazier-jersey ,” Loomis added. Brees completed an NFL-record 72 percent of his passes this season for 4,334 yards and 23 touchdowns against eight interceptions. ”Nothing he does should surprise any of us, right? Period,” Loomis said. ”Look, we love him. The impact he’s had on our team, our organization, our city is hard to measure.” Although Brees’ yardage totals were his lowest in 12 seasons, he did not attempt as many passes because the Saints exploited a strong running game led by fellow Pro Bowlers Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara. New Orleans finished the regular season ranked second in the NFL in total offense, won the NFC South and defeated Carolina in a wild-card playoff game. The Saints were one play away from going to the NFC title game, but were eliminated dramatically on a 61-yard Vikings touchdown on the last play of a divisional-round game at Minnesota. Brees’ contract – which was technically structured to run through 2020 for the purposes of pro-rating his signing bonus – voids automatically at the end of the current league year in March. The Saints would lose $18 million in salary cap flexibility should New Orleans and Brees fail to agree on an extension. Regardless of the cap hit caused by either the failure or success of negotiations with Brees, Loomis said the Saints would have a plan to deal with it. ”We’ll handle that Sam Huff Jersey ,” Loomis said. ”We’ve always got a plan for our cap. … It’s what you have to do when you have some high-paying” contracts. While Loomis has been known to base contract decisions on careful statistical analysis, he acknowledged that comparing Brees’ potential to the numbers of past 39-year-old quarterbacks is more difficult because there haven’t been many who’ve performed at an elite level. Still, Loomis gave no indication that he would use Brees’ age against the quarterback in a considerable way. ”With our coaches and our personnel department, they go by what they see,” Loomis said. ”And what they see is pretty good, right?” — Clayton Kershaw felt strong – if not quite effective – in his return from the disabled list. That was good enough for the Los Angeles Dodgers. They had muscle to spare against the New York Mets. Kershaw and Jacob deGrom stumbled in an unexpected ace showdown, Matt Kemp hit a pinch grand slam and the Dodgers won 8-3 on Saturday night. The Dodgers have won 11 straight against the Mets dating to May 2016, matching their best run in the rivalry. Los Angeles beat New York 11 straight times in 1963-64. Kershaw gave up two runs over three innings in a surprise return from a lower back strain. He threw 55 pitches, starting out strong before laboring through his final inning. ”Good to be back,” Kershaw said. ”Now I can focus on getting better.” Left-handed rookie Caleb Ferguson (1-1) replaced him and escaped a couple tight situations over four scoreless innings for his first major league win. DeGrom (5-3) allowed three earned runs in six innings, including Max Muncy’s 14th home run in the first. He entered the game with a major league-leading 1.51 ERA and hadn’t allowed three earned runs in a game since April 16 against Washington. New York has lost five straight overall and 12 of 13 at home. The Mets have scored four or fewer runs in 15 straight home games dating to May 20. Some fans at Citi Field were wearing paper bags over their heads by the end of the game. ”It was tough tonight http://www.chicagobearsteamonline.com/brian-urlacher-jersey ,” said Brandon Nimmo, who had three hits for New York. Kemp cleared the bases during a five-run eighth inning with his eighth career slam and 13th home run this season. Chris Taylor had a key two-run pinch double, and Los Angeles won for the 24th time in 33 games. KERSHAW BUILDING UP Kershaw was scheduled to make a rehab start with Triple-A Oklahoma City at Omaha, but Los Angeles decided Friday to have him pitch in New York because of precarious weather in Nebraska. The lefty ace had been sidelined since June 1. Kershaw was electric in the first inning, freezing leadoff man Nimmo on a curveball for a three-pitch strikeout and catching Todd Frazier looking for a five-pitch K. The three-time Cy Young Award winner wasn’t as sharp after that. Michael Conforto and Jose Bautista lined consecutive doubles in the second inning to tie it at 1, and Kershaw threw 25 pitches in the third inning, including an RBI single by Wilmer Flores to put New York ahead 2-1. Kershaw struck out four, walked one and allowed five hits before Taylor hit for him in the fourth. Kershaw was expected to be limited to roughly 60 pitches, and he threw an extra simulated inning inside after being replaced. ”The most important thing, he came out of it feeling good, feeling strong Terrance Williams Jersey ,” manager Dave Roberts said. FERGUSON’S ”GOOD TREND” Ferguson struck out six, walked one and allowed three hits. The 21-year-old worked out of trouble in the fifth and seventh innings. The latter jam emerged when Cody Bellinger badly misplayed Nimmo’s low liner to center, leading to a one-out triple. Ferguson then struck out Frazier and got Asdrubal Cabrera to ground out. Ferguson dropped his ERA from 7.59 to 5.52 in his first career relief appearance – he’d previously made three starts. Roberts said Ferguson has shown a ”good trend” of looking more comfortable with each outing. ”He’s handling himself considerably better each time out there,” Roberts said. JOEY BATS Bautista hit a solo homer off Yimi Garcia in the eighth inning, his fourth this season. TRAINER’S ROOM Dodgers: RHP Walker Buehler (4-1, 2.63) is still dealing with soreness from a right rib microfracture. Buehler nixed a scheduled bullpen session Saturday, and Roberts said he may throw it Sunday if there’s improvement. … LHP Adam Liberatore was optioned to Triple-A to make space for Kershaw. UP NEXT LHP Rich Hill (1-2, 4.99) starts the series finale for the Dodgers. Jason Vargas was supposed to start for New York, but the Mets placed him on the DL with a strained calf late Saturday night. The team expected to name a replacement starter early Sunday. — Follow Jake Seiner at Robert Williams Jersey
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