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Saints SS Harper not interested in hometown discount

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Dan Parr
Associate editor

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Posted July 13, 2011 @ 12:57 p.m. ET
By Dan Parr

Roman Harper, an unrestricted free agent, says he would prefer to re-sign with the Saints, but he's not interested in giving them a hometown discount.

"I can't do that," the five-year veteran starting strong safety said. "That would be unfair to myself.

"If the numbers don't match up, there's no reason for me to just have to settle for something. Everything has to match up for me to come back."

Owners are pushing for a mechanism that would allow teams to exercise the right of first refusal on three free agents whenever free agency begins, and it's a point of a disagreement in Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations. The players reportedly have rejected that idea.

If the owners do get their wish, Harper — who has spent his entire five-year career in New Orleans — likely would be a player the Saints would consider for the refusal option. If another team outbids them for Harper, the Saints still would be able to match the offer and retain him.

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