Harper would rather return to Saints than test free-agent market

Roman Harper figures to be in demand as a free agent once a collective bargaining agreement is reached and the new league year can begin, but he's not looking to test the market. The New Orleans Saints safety, a Pro Bowl selection the past two years, is happy where he's at.

"I plan on (being in New Orleans), but you never know how this crazy business will work," Harper told The Times-Picayune. "It's not always up to me. I don't always get to make the decisions."

Harper, taken by the Saints in the second round of the 2006 NFL Draft, last month estimated he was about 90 percent certain he'd be able to re-sign with New Orleans, saying that he had "great" talks with the team before the lockout began March 11.

He says New Orleans has "become a home for me and my family, too" and that it "would be really hard to just pick things up and leave what I've got going there."

"I love my teammates and coaches," he said. "They've been great, and the team indicated they wanted me back before the lockout. Hopefully, when we can start talking, everything gets worked out, and I'll be back in the black and gold."

He says he's as healthy as he's been since entering the NFL and gave kudos to the Drew Brees-led workouts at Tulane University that wrapped up last month for getting players into shape in advance of a labor agreement.

"The whole team camp was great, and a great way to stay competitive," Harper told the newspaper. "We got to get some team workouts in and installed a lot of our offense and defense. That's work right there you really can't replace."

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