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New Orleans Saints: Heath Evans, Lawrence Vickers And Brian Leonard

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Traditional free agency has long been wiped away by the NFL lockout.  The league has released no plans to date for any type supplemental free agency period once the lockout is over, leaving hundreds of players in limbo.

That’s bad news for the New Orleans Saints who have a staggering amount of free agents to contend with this off-season. To complicate things even further there is no CBA to dictate whether a player is a restricted or un-restricted free agent.

It will be an uphill battle for the saints to get everyone signed and back under contract in 2011.  But their work will have to wait until a new CBA is put in place. Hopefully the recent talks are a sign that an agreement is closer to completion, not further way.

Fullback Heath Evans has been with the Saints since the 2009 season, but his time with the team may be coming to an end as he is slated for free agency when league operations resume.

Evans is 32 and was used sparingly last season after coming off a major knee injury suffered in 2009 during an October game against the Miami Dolphins. Prior to his injury Evans was fitting in nicely in  the Saints offense scoring three touchdowns in the team’s first six games.

A great team mate off the field Evans recently raised  thousands of dollars through his charity softball game in New Orleans last month. In fact the Heath Evans Foundation has raised more than $2.5 million to provide counseling for victims of childhood sexual abuse.

However the Saints may be looking for an upgrade to Evans at some point, whether that be in free agency or with a player already on the roster in Jed Collins, and undrafted free agent that spent time on a quarter of the NFL’s teams practice squads.

Assuming the Saints are able to look into free agency two names spring to mind — Lawrence Vickers of the Cleveland Browns and Brian Leonard of the Cincinnati Bengals.