New Orleans Saints’ Bounty Scandal Timeline As Sean Payton Prepares For Return

Saints cut Roby, Leonard; keep Vilma, Tanner

27, 2012 – The NFL postpones the appeals hearings due to Hurricane Sandy. Oct. 28, 2012 – The Saints are blown out by the Denver Broncos, 34-14, in Vitt’s first game back from his six-game suspension, dropping the Saints to 2-5. Nov. 4, 2012 – Payton’s September 2011 contract extension reportedly was never approved by the league, raising the possibility he could be a free agent at the end of his yearlong suspension. Nov. 5, 2012 – Tagliabue refuses to recuse himself from the appeals hearings. Nov.

Also kept was promising but unproven receiver Andy Tanner, who has spent the past two-plus seasons on New Orleans’ practice squad. “Thanks to everyone who believed in me,” Tanner tweeted. “I’m overwhelmed by the support from whodat nation. Excited for the season to get started!” Roby has been a Saint the past four seasons and was one of the primary kick returners on the 2009 team that won the Super Bowl. He began to see most of his action on kick coverage during the past two seasons. Punter Thomas Morstead wrote on Twitter that Roby was a great teammate and a “big part of our success” during playoff runs from 2009-11. “NFL cut day is the worst,” Morstead wrote.

Payton: Saints’ success rides on far more than him

/ Staff Photo Dolphins cheerleaders dance on the field after the first quarter in the game with the Miami Dolphins and the New Orleans Saints on August 29th,2013 Joe Rimkus Jr. / Staff Photo Quarterback Pat Devlin runs for the extra points in the fourth quarter in the game with the Miami Dolphins and the New Orleans Saints on August 29th,2013. Joe Rimkus Jr. / Staff Photo Tight end Michael Egnew cant’ reach this Pat Devlin pass in the first quarter in the game with the Miami Dolphins and the New Orleans Saints on August 29th,2013 Joe Rimkus Jr. / Staff Photo Running back Jonas Gray runs with the ball in the first quarter in the game with the Miami Dolphins and the New Orleans Saints on August 29th,2013. Joe Rimkus Jr. / Staff Photo Hall of fame quarterback Bob Griese and Ryan Tannehill chat before the game with the Miami Dolphins and the New Orleans Saints on August 29th,2013 Joe Rimkus Jr.

Source: Jonathan Vilma could return for Saints’ opener

“He’s aggressive. He talks stuff to the defense,” Lofton said. “He’s a great motivator, too.” The Saints open the regular season Sept. 8 at home against Atlanta, the same team they beat in their 2006 home opener, which marked the club’s emotional return to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and the first home game of the Payton era. This time, the Superdome crowd will be energized by an urge to rally around the reinstated coach.

Gallery – Dolphins vs. Saints

On Sunday, the Sons & Daughters of Alexander the Great Dance Group will dance and the Ted Chingris Band will perform. On Monday, the festival runs from noon to 6 p.m. with lunch being served in coordination with the city’s large Labor Day parade. “It’s a crucial part of the Labor Day festivities,” he said. Athena Vangos of Auburn came to the festival with her children, one of several Greek festivals she will go to this year. “We’re kind of festival hoppers,” she said. “My daughter loves the dancing, and my son, he’s a boy, so he loves these bouncy houses.” Although Vangos said she regularly cooks Greek food at home, she said for many people, the festivals are the only time they’ll eat traditional Greek cuisine. Food options included lamb and chicken kebabs, stuffed grape leaves, gyros, spanakopita (spinach pie stuffed with feta), tiropita (a pastry), baklava and even Greek beer and wine. “It’s always nice to go out and have a buffet of food and pastries to choose from,” Vangos said.

Marborough’s Saints Anargyroi church hosts annual Grecian Festival

Vilma played in all but one game in his first three years with the Saints, getting in on 412 tackles and accounting for nine turnovers. But in 2011, he missed five games with knee problems. He also spent the first six weeks of 2012 on the physically unable to perform list as he recovered from offseason surgery on his left knee. Vilma recorded 67 tackles, 38 of them solo, and recovered three fumbles in 2011. Last year, while appealing a season-long suspension given to him in the wake of the bounty scandal a punishment that was ultimately vacated Vilma started 10 games for the Saints. He got in on 49 tackles, 21 of them solo. He also picked off a pass and scored an 18-yard touchdown on the return. Vilma is expected to start at inside linebacker alongside Curtis Lofton in new coordinator Rob Ryans 3-4 defense. In Vilmas absence this preseason, David Hawthorne, who spent his first four years in the NFL with Seattle before coming to New Orleans in 2012, filled in.

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