NFL meetings notes: New Orleans Saints leave door ‘ajar’ for former cornerback Mike McKenzie

Posted by Mike Triplett, The Times-Picayune March 23, 2009 4:32PM

DANA POINT, CALIF. – I spoke to Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis and Coach Sean Payton briefly in between sessions at the NFL meetings here in Southern California. They had no breaking news to report, but Loomis did address last week’s decision to release veteran cornerback Mike McKenzie.

He said the Saints didn’t completely close the door on the idea of McKenzie returning to New Orleans in the future – similar to what he said when the Saints released tailback Deuce McAllister last month.

“We left the door ajar,” Loomis said. “We’ll see what happens with him and his rehab, and we’ll kind of evaluate that as we go forward.”

The Saints saved $4.575 million in salary and bonuses when they released the 32-year-old cornerback, who is coming back from his second major knee injury in two years. Clearly, they’re prepared to move on without him, and they have good depth at the position after signing younger free agent corner Jabari Greer earlier this month.

But if McKenzie gets healthy and lingers in the free agent market into the spring and summer, who knows? At the very least, the Saints may keep him on standby in case they get hit with some early injuries – assuming McKenzie doesn’t catch on somewhere else in the coming months.

Judging by how slow the market has been for veteran cornerbacks this offseason, McKenzie might be out there for a little while.


I thought there might be some Saints news when the league announced its national TV games on opening weekend and Thanksgiving day, but alas, the Saints were shut out.

The Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers will host the Tennessee Titans in the Thursday night opener on NBC on Sept. 10. Green Bay will host Chicago on NBC’s Sunday night game, Sept. 13. And ESPN’s Monday Night double-header on Sept. 14 will feature Buffalo at New England and Oakland at San Diego.

Detroit will host Green Bay on Thanksgiving Day, and Dallas will host Oakland. Denver will host the New York Giants in the Thanksgiving night game on the NFL Network.

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