Assuming the Cook deal gets done, that’s one less hole to fill. We are still looking for a WR2 though. Hopefully Ted Ginn, Jr. will have a full and solid season in that spot. But we have to be concerned with what to do with that spot and the slot receiver. Will Keith Kirkwood inherit the slot? Do they like Simmie Cobbs for that spot? Does Austin Carr improve and take a shot there? Having a healthy Ginn and Cook at TE makes the slot slightly less important, but you’d still like to force the defense into dime packages you can exploit at times, particularly when you have a back the size of Murray, who would feast against dime package DB’s and smaller linebackers.
And will they re-sign Dez Bryant for one more look-see? No one came in with more enthusiasm than Bryant. Personally, I’d like to see them sign him to one more one year deal and give him the opportunity. If nothing else, he may end up being a solid locker room presence. And were he truly healthy and able to contribute a large amount, putting him inside in the slot would be a ridiculous mismatch. Moving Ginn to the inside could be great also, because he would overmatch anyone he faced with his experience.
Now having said all the doom and gloom, I want to try to put it in perspective. The Saints offensive line around the center, when healthy, is very good. And we’ll assume that we will at least hold our own if not thrive in the defensive front middle spots. The only major losses were Ingram and Unger.
Okafor was a loss for depth, but not on the same level as Ingram or Unger. I see the moves as a matter of immediacy, these are moves made to win NOW. We all know the window on Brees’ career is closing. And we know that over the next two seasons, we’ll have to find money to pay some of our great talent, including Michael Thomas and Vonn Bell next season.
The Saints are still a very good team, a very dangerous team. They will still be one of the top three teams in the NFC, injuries permitting. So while I paint a picture of concern, it’s more a muted bated breath kind of concern over a the-sky-is-falling-running-in-circles concern. The Saints will be fine. I think.