This time last year, the Saints had the top two free agents in the NFL as well as three in the top 15 (Brees, Nick and Colston). This year the only player that's even listed in CBS' top 100 free agents is Jermon Bushrod at #37. This should make for a less stressful offseason from a player retention standpoint, although Will Smith and Jonathan Vilma's statuses are still very much in limbo while the Saints try to get both players to re-structure their deals.
If we get our pick of the litter in the free agency pool and we're talking pipe dreams, I'd love to land Paul Kruger of the Super Bowl champion Ravens (#7 on the list) who is a stout inside linebacker and already familiar with the 3-4 scheme. I'd also love to pluck Brent Grimes from the Falcons (#17), as he is a premiere ball hawk and might be had slightly cheaper because he's coming off a serious injury.
Some other guys to keep an eye on are...
Anthony Spencer (LB, #12 on list) who played for Rob Ryan in Dallas, Derek Cox (CB, #32 on list) who I've already discussed has superior ball skills, Victor Butler (LB, #47) who also played for Ryan, of course Ed Reed (S, #68), and former LSU standout Ricky Jean Francois (DT, #97) who played the nose in a 3-4 scheme with the 49ers and could add depth at that position. Finally, if the Saints lose Bushrod all the tackles listed also come into play.
Who from the list would you like to see the Saints pursue?
Reed! Above all else.
Btw as I replied on twitter... Saints would like to keep those 2 (Vilma and Smith) sure but it is a take it or leave it deal. If they end up cutting them they will do it. Rather not cause it will be a cap penalty (right?) but they are worth gone a lot more then they are on their current contract.
@MarijnPessers they carry a big cap hit, yes, but not their salary (which is huge), just a fraction of their bonus. Could be a lot worse.