5 New Orleans Saints playing for a 2016 job over the final three games

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Dec 13, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Tim Hightower (34) celebrates as he scores a touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. New Orleans Saints defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24-17. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

3. Tim Hightower

Yes, Hightower will be an unrestricted free agent.  And yes, running backs are always in high demand.  However, after a four-year absence from the NFL, it was the New Orleans Saints who gave him a chance, and only the New Orleans Saints.  That says teams may still be iffy about the injury-prone 29-year-old.

Now, with Mark Ingram out for the year, as well as Khiry Robinson, it’s Hightower who’s carrying the load out of the backfield.  His performance Sunday in Tampa bodes well for his future, whether it’s in New Orleans or somewhere else.

With three games left to play and the starting job all his, Hightower will be running for a contract no matter what city he ends up playing in.  If he does find success for the remainder of the season, the Saints should have no problem re-signing him to add depth behind Ingram.  In fact, he’ll come cheaper than Robinson, who is a restricted free agent after the season.

If Hightower plays well, the Saints will have a big decision to make.  For now, Hightower needs to stay focused on getting yards and touchdowns in an effort to win some more games for this struggling Saints team.  Regardless, his return to the NFL makes one hell of a story.

Next: 2. Ben Watson