Cornerback Tracy Porter may not be back with the New Orleans Saints next season as he is set to become a free agent this year, and with the pending contract of Drew Brees, and perhaps Carl Nicks and Marques Colston, there may be no money left for Porter.
Clouding the issue is that Porter’s value to the Saints defense took a nose dive in 2011 as he was eventually replaced in the starting lineup by second year corner Patrick Robinson.
Robinson finally blossomed late in the season in Gregg Williams defense, and even though Williams is now gone, new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo likely still views Robinson as one of the teams starters.
But Porter is not a bad corner — a better man cover corner then zone — but he lacks the physicality needed in run support and often misses tackles completely in one-on-one situations.
He does have value on the open market, and their are several teams who could be interested in signing him, although the most logical landing spot should he not return to the Saints is with the St. Louis Rams.
Gregg Williams is no longer with New Orleans because he followed his good friend Jeff Fisher to St.Louis to become their new defensive coordinator — and coaches love to bring in guys with ties to there scheme.
Porter know what’s it’s like to play in William defense, once upon a time even developing into quite the threat.
In 2009, during the Saints Super Bowl run, Tracy notched four interceptions and 12 pass deflections which were all career high numbers for the former Indiana stand out.
In the post season he famously saved the Saints in the NFC Championship game with a late interception of Vikings quarterback Brett Favre that forced overtime, where the Saints would eventually win on a Garrett Hartley field goal.
Then in the Super Bowl Porter would strike again, stepping in front of Indianapolis Colts receiver Reggie Wayne to snag a Peyton Manning pass in which he ran back for a 74-yard touchdown.
The interception extended the Saints lead over the Colts and effectively closed the door on any comeback attempt.
St.Louis would also likely be more open to paying Porter like a starter, and if he were to sign would be given the opportunity to compete with Ron Bartell and Bradley Fletcher for a starting role.
Last season the Rams were plagued by injuries in the secondary as both Bartell, Fletcher, and top nickel, corner Jerome Murphy were lost for the season, as where their back-ups, and then the back-ups after those.
In fact Bartell, the Rams top corner, may not even be back with the team after shattering a vertebrae in his neck. Cutting Bartell would save St. Louis his $6.5 million dollar salary in 2012.
By November eight corner’s had been either injured or placed the injured reserve list. St. Louis. The list includes Al Harris, the former Packer great, who tore his ACL on November 13th after which announcing his retirement from the NFL.