Free Agency, which is set to begin March 11th, is going to be extremely interesting time for the New Orleans Saints, and a roller coaster of emotions for Who Dat Nation. The NFL Salary Cap is estimated to increase from $123M to around $126.3M. For the Saints, the latest figure, as per Over the Cap has the Saints at $137.6M going into 2014.
Sadly, that doesn’t bode well for signing new free agents or existing free agents. However, Saints General Manager, Mickey Loomis, is a very intelligent person, and this is where he ‘does his magic’.
The Saints have a ton of decisions to make, as this is your list of free agents for the 2014 offseason.
Some of you may be asking, ‘What is the UFA, RFA, and ERFA sorcery?’ Well, maybe not those exact words, but something to that nature. Here’s the easiest way I would break it down.
Unrestricted Free Agent (UFA) – Player is free to sign with any team. He would not have a contract with his current team. You would need to play four years, or get cut, to be in this category.
Restricted Free Agent (RFA) – Player has only three years of experience, and would not have a contract with his current team. Any team would have the option to make a contract offer, but the team (Saints) would be able to match/retain that player with said offer.
Exclusive Rights Free Agents (ERFA) – Player is not under contract, and has not reached three years of experience. If the team makes said player an offer at the three-year veteran minimum, the player has a ‘take it or leave it’ option. There is no negotiation with other teams.
Of the Saints current twenty-three players listed as free agents, we’ll break down and rank accordingly where we think the priorities go. This is a two-part series, so we’ll go from #23 to #11, and the Top 10 will appear in a separate article. Exclusive Rights Free Agents are included.