Breakdown: Last year rumors began to surface pre-draft as well as during the draft that the Saints were interested in making a trade for Washington Redskins defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth.The details were never clear or substantiated for that matter, although it was later revealed New Orleans attempted a trade for Giants DT Barry Cofield. Ever since the “rumored” Haynesworth trade fans and analysts have been fiercely divided on the future of the disgruntled 100 million dollar man. Would he fit with the Saints considering his potential to be great in a 4-3 defense versus the very lack-luster play he has shown while in Washington’s 3-4 defense? Staff writer Paul Campbell analyzes just that in this article.
Breakdown: This piece from Mike Triplett of the Times-Picayune makes note of the large amount of free agents the Saints still need to contend with this off-season. Essentially if the players are successful in blocking the NFL’s lockout then it would be business as usual under the old rules of the expired CBA. That of course means that the bulk of teams pending free agents would fall under the category of “restricted”, making it considerably easier to re-sign them.
Breakdown: The Saints need help, plenty of it, especially at the front seven skill positions on defense. Both their starting defensive ends are over thirty and failed to produce any real threat of a pass rush in 2010. In fact, the teams best pass rusher was defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis, who finished with a team high six sacks. Shaun Rogers is now on board which should beef up the middle of the line in an upgrade over Remi Ayodele, so DT may not be high on their list. Defensive end seems to be the most pressing issue so it’s likely the Saints are targeting a young prospect in the upper part of the draft that can push Alex Brown and Will Smith for playing time.
Breakdown: Apparently Barry Cofield may want out in New York if he cannot get a long-term deal put in place with the Giants. Cofield will become a restricted a free agent, if the lockout is successfully blocked, but says he is not willing to play under another one-year tender offer. A trade could once again form between the Saints and Giants to secure his services in the Big Easy. He is young, unlike Rogers, and turned in his best season as a pro last year with 54 tackles and four sacks despite playing through injury.
Breakdown: Not that this is necessarily Saints related news but it’s an interesting article none the less. Last season we witnessed the NFL shift into high gear when it came to player injury, specifically concussions caused by “flagrant” and dirty tackles. The league took a zero tolerance policy with teams and players, simply put if you got a crack to the head you would not return to the game until cleared by independent doctors. Apparently this new found attention to concussions has made it’s way into the virtual word in the upcoming installment of Madden.