Jan 18, 2015; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots cornerback Darrelle Revis (24) reacts after intercepting a pass against the Indianapolis Colts in the third quarter in the AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
It’s nice to see your questions fill up our Facebook and Twitter, and I appreciate you taking the time to ask them. The New Orleans Saints face a ton of offseason questions, and I’m here to answer some for the Who Dat Dish mailbag!
Kevin B. (Facebook) Are the Saints planning on picking up Darrelle Revis? How are we going to improve the defense, anyone we can draft?
I honestly can’t picture the Saints landing Darrelle Revis. He’s already a $7 million salary cap hit with the New England Patriots this year, and is still contracted with them in 2015. However, that $20 million option isn’t something New England likely flirts with. Granted, he’s well worth it. I feel as though the team has to gain two things during this offseason, whether it’s through the draft and/or free agency. That’d be a solid cover cornerback to line up opposite of Keenan Lewis, and an outside edge rusher opposite of Junior Galette.
That being said, the hottest cornerback in free agency this season will be Byron Maxwell of the Seahawks. Whether he returns with the team remains to be seen, especially with a long-term deal looming for quarterback Russell Wilson. I have cornerback as my top need for the Saints in 2015, and linebacker being second. I hope the Saints make a play for Perrish Cox, Chris Culliver, or even Charles ‘Peanut’ Tillman (if he comes at a discount, and is able).
The draft has plentiful talent at outside linebacker, and that’s at the tops of my list for pick number thirteen. If the Saints are serious about upgrading, then I figure that pick is best spent on the defensive side.
I also feel that nothing really changes unless the team makes a big decision on Bill Johnson (defensive line coach), and Joe Vitt (linebackers/assistant coach). If the team is truly serious about Rob Ryan owning the defense this year, then they need to give him full reign on who he tabs as his support cast.
John P. (Facebook) Do you think Amari Cooper, if by some crazy coincidence is there at 13, gets drafted, regardless of our obvious needs?
The Saints draft philosophy tends to operate by a ‘best player available’ philosophy. Saints fans likely have a bad taste in their mouth from Cooper, who didn’t speak too highly of New Orleans when coming to town for Allstate Sugar Bowl.
"“No disrespect to the place. But I don’t really like New Orleans. Too much going on. I don’t like Bourbon Street. It doesn’t smell good.”"
Personally, I don’t see Cooper being drafted outside of the Top 5. The Buccaneers and Titans figure to take quarterbacks with their respective picks (speculation), and then the next several teams in line (Jaguars, Raiders, Redskins, Jets) could all use a wide receiver. Should the Saints somehow trade up, or something ridiculous happens to where Cooper falls that far for whatever reason, I could see the team drafting him.
However, I feel the Saints may look to free agency to bring a free agent wide receiver. It won’t be a large name like Dez Bryant or Jeremy Maclin, but more of a receiver with upside potential that won’t command such a large contract like Denarius Moore, Kenny Britt, or Cecil Shorts.
Shane L. (@op25ttfd) If Lions release Bush, I see Payton calling him to see what the chances are he would come back to the black and gold. Possibly
It’s an interesting thought, and you’re certainly thinking along the lines of some other members of Who Dat Nation. My only problem with a move like that is the durability of the running backs. There’s just too many question marks. Assuming that Mark Ingram does walk in free agency, that would leave the team with Khiry Robinson (looks to shoulder the load for 2015), Pierre Thomas (assuming he stays), and Travaris Cadet (who is a restricted free agent). The only guaranteed return of the bunch is Robinson. Bush would have to be willing to accept a reduced role, which is one of the reasons he left New Orleans in the first place, because he wanted a more full-time role. At this stage in his career, there might be some good flashes, but a player like Roy Helu would make a lot more sense for the team.
Melanie C. (Facebook) Why won’t the Saints draft a decent kicker. Lord knows we need one.
I agree 100 percent that the Saints must fix the kicking position, Melanie. So much so that I addressed this as a glaring offseason need in one of my columns. I wish Robert Aguayo was entering the draft this year, because I’d be all in for using a pick on him. However, I don’t see the team using a draft pick, even a late round pick, on a kicker. They’ll likely turn to a pool of undrafted free agent rookies. My dream scenario would be to nab Justin Tucker from the Baltimore Ravens. Kicker has been a sore spot for the Saints for far too long.
Baron K. (Facebook) There are two players coming off suspension, WR Justin Blackmon and LB Daryl Washington. Is there any chance the Saints try to pull off a trade for either of them? They are both super talented, but have trouble laying off of adult substances.
If we learned anything from last year, this team can’t afford to have any derailers in the locker room. For as good as someone is, the ‘stuff’ that comes with them doesn’t figure to be a storm the Saints can weather. Could that change in 2015? Surely. However, for the sake of the trade aspect, the value of what they’d command is debatable. I wouldn’t look to spend a high pick on either. Washington would be a major upgrade at inside linebacker over David Hawthorne, and is the only player I’d want to trade for.
Another perspective to offer to your suggestion, do you really want to have someone who has been in trouble with Roger Goodell to come to the New Orleans Saints?
Keith A. (Facebook) What’s a more pressing need? Another lockdown corner or playmaker at linebacker?
I’m all in favor of a corner opposite of Keenan Lewis. I have been since Day 1, and nothing changes that. However, a strong case can be made for a playmaker at linebacker. Just ask the Carolina Panthers what Luke Kuechly means to the team. You can look at this two ways. Obtaining the right playmaker at linebacker who can excel at coverage and pass rush would help the Saints tremendously. On the other hand, having a lockdown corner works wonders for the secondary, and is desperately needed. In Rob Ryan’s 4-2-5 schemes, I can see a slightly greater need at cornerback. The team can likely find a lockdown corner at a bargain through a very depthful pool of free agency, but outside of Justin Houston, the outside linebacker picture isn’t as appealing as the draft.
Have questions for our mailbag? Keep them coming!
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