Everyone is starting their own free agent thread. Here's mine with a different slant to brighten your outlook. The Saints will be making some significant moves with the current 2014 contract obligations projecting to at least $8-10mil over the cap. The biggest headline will be if Graham gets a deal or is tagged- and would that be a $7mil TE tag or $10mil WR tag. Besides that there are plenty of other major decisions.
The Saints will be heading into the 9th year of the Payton era. We are pretty far down the road, as far as key players that need to get paid. Managing this, is a key element of long term success. If you examine the niners, the panthers, & chickens you can see they have yet to deal with the first wave of players that need to be paid. Their time is coming! Just like Goodwin, Nicks, & Bushrod all left only for bigger money these teams are gonna be challenged to see if they can keep success going with a very different cap.
Just a quick survey of seachicken players who will require many more millions of cap...
Percy Harvin 2013 $4.9mil to 2014 $13.4mil
Cliff Avril 2013 $3.8mil to $9.3mil
Earl Thomas last year of rookie deal will command mega bucks
CB Byron Maxwell last year of rookie deal
CB Richard Sherman in last year of rookie deal $690K
, uber mega bucks coming
LB Bobby Wagner 2 more years on rookie deal
Lastly, Russell Wilson 2 more season under $1mil
a year (and you thought Brees for $10mil was a deal).
2014 Notable Free Agents-
Michael Bennett, Golden Tate, Walter Thurmond, Kicker Hauschka
2014 Potential Cuts for cap help (amount saved)-
Chris Clemons $7.5mil
Sidney Rice $7.3mil
Cliff Avril $7mil
Red Bryant $5.5mil
Brandon Mebane $5.3mil
I'll look at the kitty cats & niners in their own threads. Bottom line: know another giant sized shoe is gonna be dropping on these NFC competitors. Becoming a contender is one thing. Staying there 9 years later is another. I'm pretty happy knowing our team is several cycles beyond these teams and still in the running.
This post was edited on 1/21 at 12:36 pm