Finally Saints fans got what they where waiting for and can now breathe a collective sigh of relief, strong safety Roman Harper has been re-signed to a 4-year deal worth 28 million dollars to remain with the team.
Harper has been one of the Saints best secondary players since being drafted in the second round of the 2006 draft out of the University of Alabama.
Since defensive coordinator Gregg Williams took over the Saints defense in 2009 Harper has posted his best seasons as a pro accounting for 200 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 8 pass deflections, and 8 forced fumbles.
He was named to the Pro Bowl the past two seasons as an alternate, which so far in his five year career are the only times he has been voted in by his peers.
Harper came under fire after a poor performance during the Saints play-off loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck victimized Harper on several occasions including two touchdown passes.
The Saints however never faltered in their loyalty Harper, loyalty which was reciprocated by Harper several times this off-season when stating he wanted nothing more then to remain a Saint.
To date the Saints have done a wonderful job keeping what they consider to be vital players with time. They have been able to not only retain Harper, but also re-sign wide receiver Lance Moore and left tackle Jermon Bushrod.
But two more potentially critical players remain un-signed as center Jonathan Goodwin and Pro Bowl left guard Carl Nicks remain contractless.
Nicks is a restricted free agent which allows the Saints more time in getting him a new deal put place as opposing teams would have to give up draft compensation to get him and the Saints have right of first refusal.
It is expected that the Saints will get him locked down to a long term deal in the near future. Nicks has developed into of the best guards in the league and is a big reason the Saints offensive line is considered to be among the best.
Center Johnathan Goodwin is still awaiting a new deal, but it’s a deal that hinges on whether or not the Saints are ready to replace him with second-year center Matt Tennant — whom the team traded up in last years draft to select.
Undrafted rookie center Ryan Taylor was also signed as competition earlier this week.
Goodwin has been the teams starter at center since 2007 when he took over duties for Jeff Faine after his departure to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He has been consistent, just never great, and the Saints could be ready to attempt an upgrade.
Like what you have read? Give Whodatdish.com props by liking us on facebook, become a follower on twitter, or grab our RSS feed. Prefer an application? Apple users can download WDD’s free app here, and Android lover’s can get the free app here.