For those who suit up, however, it sounded more like the long-accepted cost of doing business in a brutal sport, a dirty little secret that everyone kept on the down low. Atlanta Falcons star Roddy White called it a “league thing” that goes far beyond the New Orleans Saints. Shawne Merriman of the Buffalo Bills wondered what all the fuss was about, having long maintained he was targeted and sustained a career-altering injury. Former All-Pro guard Alan Faneca said he wasn’t surprised at all that a sordid system had finally been exposed.
The Saints‘ designation of Drew Brees as a franchise player isn’t a big deal in and of itself. If there are two things that are certain it’s that Drew Brees will remain with the New Orleans Saints and that he’s going to be making a lot of money for them. Nope, the problem here isn’t with Brees and what the franchise designation means for him. It’s what it means for another unrestricted free agent, All-Pro guard Carl Nicks, and what it means is that the Saints risk losing him.
The March 25 date appears to be at the end of the timeline, and the Saints could learn of their fate within the next week or two, Glazer reported. The NFL’s report detailed the Saints’ involvement in a three-year program administered by former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, which ran in violation of league rules. The investigation showed that Saints players received $1,500 for a “knockout” hit and $1,000 for a “cart-off” hit, with payouts doubling or tripling during the team’s three playoff appearances.
That leaves left guard as the biggest room for an upgrade, which is exactly where Carl Nicks has played since he entered the NFL in 2008 as a fifth-round draft pick. Chris Williams, whom the Bears drafted 150 picks ahead of Nicks in 2008 as an offensive tackle, started the first nine games of last season at left guard before suffering a season-ending dislocated wrist. Edwin Williams, an undrafted free agent the Bears picked up in 2010 after he was cut by the Redskins, started the final seven games.
McGahee signed a four-year, $9.5 million deal before the 2011 season after spending two seasons as a backup for the Baltimore Ravens. Since then, McGahee has become the top option in the Broncos’ backfield, rushing for 1,199 yards and four touchdowns while starting 13 games. According to the Post, the 30-year-old McGahee will make $2 million this year. The franchise-tag value for running backs this season is approximately $7.7 million. The newspaper also reported that the team will not re-negotiate McGahee’s current deal.
Topics: 2009 NFC Championship Game, 2012 Nfl Draft, 2013 NFL Draft, Bounty Program, Brett Favre, Darren Sharper, Drew Brees, ESPN, Franchise Tag, Gregg Williams, Indianapolis Colts, Jonathan Vilma, Mark Ingram, Mickey Loomis, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, NFL Network, NFLPA, Peyton Manning, Rams, Roger Goodell, Sean Payton, The Saints, Tom Benson, Tom Brady, Tom Condon