Yesterday ended up being another busy day for the black and gold. The New Orleans Saints had two major transactions from yesterday, and we’ll get you caught up on those moves!
Mike Triplett | ESPN.com | Saints re-sign WR Joe Morgan
Although the Saints didn’t make a qualifying offer to Morgan last week when he was due to become a restricted free agent, it makes a lot of sense for them to bring him back (likely at a lower rate than the minimum RFA tender of $1.4 million).
I was a bit surprised with this transaction, but after a reported visit to Kansas City, it appears that Morgan’s options might have been limited. Teams might have been scared off with Morgan’s injury history, and this one year deal should be a good proving ground for him. However, should another ACL injury occur, it may sideline Morgan permanently. The team’s wide receiver depth is now: Marques Colston, Kenny Stills, Joe Morgan, Nick Toon, Andy Tanner, Chris Givens, and Charles Hawkins. The Saints may look at bringing back Robert Meachem, but there are also reports and rumors of the team being interested in free agent Sidney Rice, and also a contender in the Desean Jackson trade sweepstakes (don’t see that one happening).
Mike Triplett | ESPN.com | Free-agency review: Saints
Biggest surprise: Byrd and Sproles were both a bit unexpected. But in general, the biggest surprise is that the Saints spent money so aggressively despite being slammed against the cap. They signed Byrd, re-signed right tackle Zach Strief (five years, $20.5 million) and kept running back Pierre Thomas with a two-year extension. All of those deals were cap-friendly in 2014, as the Saints continue with their win-now approach.
There’s no other way to analyze this. Byrd came out of nowhere, but Loomis had that move up his sleeve. We wondered how in the world the team was going to work the cap, but the fact that the team has retained Ramon Humber, Bryce Harris, Zach Strief, Pierre Thomas, Rafael Bush, and Joe Morgan this off-season is nothing shy of miraculous.
Katherine Terrell | NOLA.com | New Orleans Saints agree to terms with fullback Erik Lorig
The move almost certainly spells the end of free agent Jed Collins tenure with the Saints. They did not offer a tender to the formerly restricted free agent, who is now an unrestricted free agent and allowed to freely sign with any team.
Sadly, the Erik Lorig move spells the end for Jed Collins. I personally liked Collins, and believed he was a good fit for the offense. Perhaps some of the mistakes from last season led the team to not pursue Collins, and ultimately his salary was going to be tough to absorb. Lorig signed for a lower base, but has a rich contract for a fullback in today’s NFL.
Larry Holder | NOLA.com | Drew Brees sees 2014 New Orleans Saints as a new team with departure of familiar faces
“It’s tough, because a lot of those guys I’ve played with for eight years,” Brees said. “Eight years. Which is rare. I’d say that’s very rare in this day and age, to have that amount of time with a group of guys. You become very connected during that time, so it’s always hard when you get to this point.”
Brees went on to say that the loss of Darren Sproles hit him the hardest. “That was one of the tougher ones for me. I feel like that was my guy, that was my pick and I wanted that to last forever. But unfortunately, it didn’t last forever.” The hourglass is starting to run out for Drew Brees, and he’s fully aware of that. He only has several more chances to earn another Lombardi.
Lastly, be sure Help wish Steve Gleason a Happy “Black and Golden” Birthday!
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Tags: Darren Sproles DeSean Jackson Drew Brees Erik Lorig Jairus Byrd Jed Collins Jimmy Graham Link Dump New Orleans Saints New Orleans Saints Daily News New Orleans Saints Free Agency New Orleans Saints Rumors & News New Orleans Saints Transactions NFL Salary Cap 2014 Pierre Thomas Saints Salary Cap Sidney Rice Steve Gleason