I view Zach Strief as the highest priority free agent for the Saints this offseason. That's not to say Jimmy Graham is a situation that needs to be dealt with, or that he's not a more important player to the Saints, but I view the risk of losing him as zero. There's an outside chance the Saints could trade him, I guess, but even then you're getting a return on him. In Strief's case, there's the strong risk he's lost outright. So I view that situation as a lot less reassuring. It's no secret the Saints' cap situation will require careful navigation this offseason, and even if Strief could be retained there's a price tag the Saints just won't be able to go over. We don't know what that figure is, but we can use clues to at least tell us what he'll realistically make.no comments
With the NFL Combine here, there's undoubtedly some of you that will sit through the boring and mind numbing exercise of watching each shuttle run, lift, and evaluation. Does any of that stuff really matter? Sure, a little bit. I think the Saints, in particular, will be looking closely at a few things. I think the interviews go a long way, but unfortunately we're not privy to any of those. What the combine doesn't show is whether these guys are true football players on the field, or not. Some guys look great in shorts and can't get it done on the field. Others measure poorly and tear it up when it matters. So attributing too much to these measurables is a mistake. This is a piece of the puzzle, one to take seriously, but it's just one part of the whole. Anyway, here's what I think the Saints need to look for:no comments
I've been saying long and loud that the Saints need to have a serious kicker competition this camp. If Shayne Graham wins the competition, he was recently re-signed by the way, then fine. But I want him to have to earn it. Currently the Saints have Graham and youngster Derek Dimke from Illinois. Dimke, 23, has had try outs with three other teams but has yet to make a real NFL game appearance. Based on that it's hard to see him winning the job from Shayne Graham unless the veteran completely implodes. And since Graham holds down the "veteran with experience" quota of the competition, I'd really like to see the Saints add a young stud kicker to compete with him. Based on what's happened with Cairo Santos so far, it seems the Saints agree. Santos has already mentioned he views playing with the Saints as "ideal", he's already been talking to special teams coach Greg McMahon, and the Saints are one of three teams he has a scheduled interview with this weekend (the Falcons and Cardinals are the others).
The "fit" for Santos is obvious.no comments
Perhaps Mickey Loomis already saw this coming, but I certainly didn't, so the news that broke today that the NFL salary cap is jumping about 5%, or $7 million, to $130 million is a huge boost. Here's the tweet that broke the news of this possibility:
NFL's salary cap now projected to rise to about $130 million, up 5 percent from $123 million last year, per league sources. More $ for all.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 20, 2014
With this news the Saints will go from about $3 million under the cap to $10 million under. That means they could franchise Jimmy Graham as a tight end and sign all their draft picks and remain under the cap without having to do anything in terms of re-structuring or cutting players. This also possibly means they can retain Zach Strief and give him a competitive market value deal if they can reach a long term deal with Graham that isn't too much of a hit in year one.
This doesn't mean...no comments
Ralph, Andrew and Dave break down the Saints latest salary cap moves. Will the Saints focus on getting corners or safeties this off season? They also try to evaluate the legacy of Roman Harper, Jabari Greer, Will Smith, and Jonathan Vilma.
Andrew says Vilma should be celebrated for fighting Goodell over Bounty Gate.
Ralph believes Greer one of the most under appreciated Saints ever.
The boys continue off season position breakdown with the offensive tackles. Andrew and Ralph argue over Zach Strief's free agent value.
The Darren Sharper situation has suddenly turned into an episode of Dexter. Does it taint 2009?
Plus your Twitter questions like should the Saints use Popeye's to win road games in 2014?
PS: Donate and the audio quality stays awesome and don't forget to download our Iphone app!
News is slow this time of year so I'm just looking for anything I can find Saints relevant to talk about. This morning I was given a real gem, though, as evidenced by the mugshot you see pictured. This is proof that if you keep hoping for something amazing long enough, good things really can happen!
Our good pal Roddy has yet to say anything on his twitter account, but unless the Falcons put a muzzle on him this could prove to develop into something all the more entertaining. After a day off from work thanks to the President's day holiday, this could not have started my first day back at work on a better note. I had no idea you could get arrested for failure to pay a tinted window ticket, but I guess that's what happens when you fail to appear in court. Also, why would Roddy get illegally tinted windows? Nevermind, don't answer that.
Roddy had to pay a whopping $168 bond for his release, but hey, 90 minutes well spent. Look how happy he is in that mugshot. It's like he's at home right where he belongs!no comments
The chance that Graham stays is real. However there is a possibility the Saints will have a problem with the cap, they could decide to go a different way, or they cannot come to a deal with Graham in which case they will franchise tag him.
Like happened to Chris Ivory (tendered, not tagged) I could see Graham being tendered and then being traded. If you got this huge value guy that is going to be gone/worthless to the roster next year you might want to get something back for him.no comments
I remember when the Saints signed Darren Sharper thinking it was unrealistic to hope he'd be amazing, but I hoped the Saints could at least squeeze whatever gas he had left in the tank. Instead the Saints got a Pro Bowler in 2009, a borderline defensive MVP candidate, a career high tying 9 interceptions and a career high 3 pick sixes to anchor a Super Bowl title team. He would play one more season with the Saints compromised that was largely disappointing, but there is no question what they got out of him in 2009 was free agency eureka. So much so, in fact, that in just one amazing year and one poor one with the team he forever embedded himself in the fabric of the franchise and the city. The canonized status he was able to arrive at in New Orleans is something very few have done. When you consider the amount of time he did it in, it's unprecedented. But now that Sharper is accused of 7 rapes and 11 druggins in 4 states, I have to wonder if that changes things.no comments
It's been a while since we got the mailbag going, which is really just twitter questions. Lots of good ones this time around so thanks to everyone for participating. That always makes it fun Saints dialog. Let's get right into it:
@SaintsNationBlg After the roster changes earlier on in the week, which position do you think we go with our first round draft pick?— Jamie Miles (@Jamie_Miles) February 14, 2014
Extremely dangerous to be thinking a position, or a player, when you pick 27th in the draft.no comments