Right now there is no free agent movement going on during the current state of the NFL with the ongoing lockout, the Saints, like many other teams, are taking this opportunity to evaluate seveal key position’s on the current roster.
Looking at the value of position, the players ability to perform at a high level, what is his injury status, past and present, and last but not least, what will it cost to have that player on the 2011 roster.
Things will happen really fast once the air clears on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Potential restricted and un-restricted free agents currently on the New Orleans Saints roster will have to be dealt with swiftly. I feel it needs to start with the offensive line.
1. Jermon Bushrod is the teams starting left tackle, he hasn’t been great, but has stepped in nicely after Jammal Brown was injured and eventually traded to the Washington Redskins.
As a starter he had an off year in 2010, sometimes he seemed to be lost out there protecting Drew Brees blind side, occasionally Brees would move an extra blocker over to help during certain pass plays against certain defensive players.
If he’s not resigned by the Saints, the potential replacement could be second year tackle Charles Brown. If Saints are lucky and they can look into free agency they will only have a short window of opportunity to look for a known veteran player at that position.
Maybe an aging left tackle like Matt Light from the New England Patriots, who can hold up the line until second year player Charles Brown is ready.
Doug Free is another free agent from Dallas who would also be a nice fit, and finally maybe even look at bringing back Jammal Brown from Washington, who has been playing the right side on their offensive line but could be had for a reasonable price.
The team Consensus is to resign Bushrod to a long term contract that is cap friendly, unless there in no new CBA guidelines to follow, who knows whats really going to happen.
2. Carl Nicks: He is going to be one of the tougher players for the Saints to resign, due to the fact he significantly out-performed his contract over the last few seasons. Nicks is now considered to be among the best guards in the NFL, evident by his recent selection to the “NFL’s Top 100 Players” list.
The Saints will have to pull out all the stops to get a contract with Nicks done, that is once they are able to communicate with the players again. It’s going to take a contract comparable to the one the Saints signed Jahri Evans to last season to keep Nicks.
Potential replacement for Nicks already on the Saints roster are 10 year veteren Jonathan Goodwin and second year pro Brian De La Puenta. A couple of other free agent guards on the market are David Joseph (Tampa) or Logan Mankins (Patriots) — who are both great players in their own right.
The consensus is that the Saints are not going to be able to find a suitable replacement player of the same caliber as Nicks, and why should they even look for what they already have on their own roster.