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Saints re-signing Brees, Colston, Nicks could cost pricey veterans their jobs

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The 2012 NFL free agency period may not be the kindest to the New Orleans Saints as they have 13 unrestricted free agents that they must deal with, including the big three — quarterback Drew Brees, guard Carl Nicks, and wide receiver Marques Colston.

Besides these three the Saints will also have to figure out what to do with corner Tracy Porter, wide receiver Robert Meachem, linebacker Ramon Humber, defensive tackle Aubrayo Franklin, and linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar — the most notable — among many others.

First and foremost it seems very likely that Brees gets a new contract, or at worst gets franchised for the 2012-2013 season while negotiations are ongoing to finalize a new deal.

There is now way that Brees is not wearing a Saints jersey until the day he decides to hang up his cleats for good.

Nicks is a Pro Bowl guard, one of the best in the league, and one sure to command big money.

Last year teammate Jahri Evans, his partner on the other side of center, signed a seven-year, $56.7 million dollar contract which included a $12 million dollar signing bonus.

Nicks should get every bit of that, if not more, to remain with the Saints.

Marques Colston posted his third straight 1,000 yard season, and fifth since entering the league six years ago.

In fact the only season he didn’t post over one thousand yards was in 2008 when he missed five games with a broken thumb.

The average NFL receiver makes about a $1.5 million dollar base salary per season, however top tier receivers can command upwards of $20 million.

Arizona Cardinal receiver Larry Fitzgerald made $20 million in 2011 after signing an eight-year, $128.5 million dollar contract in August just before the start of the season.

While Colston won’t get that type of money, Baltimore’s Anquan Boldin makes $6 million a year, while Detroit’s Calvin Johnson hauls in a cool $8.875 million dollar base salary.

Logic dictates that Colston’s new deal will fall somewhere in that range — $6 to $8 million — as he is more productive than Boldin and nearly as productive as Johnson.

That would be huge payday for Colston, who was tied for 14th in the league matching Houston’s Kevin Walter with a $3 million dollar salary in 2011.