The Saints 2014 Offseason

The New Orleans Saints have a big off season ahead of them. After franchise tagging TE Jimmy Graham, the Saints made numerous cuts to free up some cap space. The Saints first big purchase, and by far the most important, was the best ranked safety in free agency, Jairus Byrd. Byrd signed a six-year deal worth $56 million, $28 million guaranteed. The Saints were in serious need of a free safety and Byrd will more than fill that need. He had 48 tackles, 1 sack, and 4 interceptions for the Buffalo Bills last year.

Image

The Saints have also shopped speedy kick returner Darren Sproles. Who was eventually traded to the Eagles for a 5th round draft pick. The Saints have recently re-signed RT Zach Strief to a five year, $20.5 million deal. They also signed RB Pierre Thomas to a two year extension. The Saints still have some holes to fill at center, cornerback and wide receiver. They could re-sign some of their own free agents, Brian De La Puente or Robert Meachem, or look for some veterans. If the Saints want younger players, they may consider the draft to fill these needs.

Are the Saints in Serious Trouble?

The New Orleans Saints may be in some deep water this off season. The have already cut some familiar faces like Jonathan Vilma, Roman Harper, Jabari Greer and Will Smith. That had to take some serious thought because those guys have been around awhile, even for the Super Bowl back in 2009. The Saints have also franchise tagged their most prized possession, Jimmy Graham. With free agency just 8 days away and the draft a little over two months away, the Saints have a tremendous amount of decisions to make. They have their own free agents to re-sign. They have serious needs at safety, cornerback, offensive lineman, wide receiver, and outside linebacker. Some players that could be available when the Saints draft at number 27 overall include the likes of: Jordan Matthews, Mike Evans, Marqise Lee, Jason Verrett, Bradley Roby, Darqueze Dennard, Calvin Pryor, Lamarcus Joyner, Ryan Shazier, Kyle Van Noy, Zack Martin, and Antonio Richardson.

If asked who the Saints would take at number 27, I would have to say Jordan Matthew, if he’s still available. He would step in right away and become the Saints number one wide receiver for many year’s to come. He’s big, physical and has great hands. If the Saints draft him they’ll make Drew Brees a very happy quarterback. Matthews had 112 rec for 1,477 yds and 7 td his senior season. For his career at Vanderbilt he had 262 rec for 3,759 yds and 24 td.

Image

The Saints should try to re-sign RT Zach Strief and C Brian De La Puente. Also, they need to try to sign a few players in free agency, they could sign an offensive lineman, safety or a wide receiver. They could sign Jairus Byrd, Eric Decker, Hakeem Nicks, or Branden Albert if they choose. If the Saints make good use of the draft and free agency they’ll make it deep into the playoffs in 2014. The Saints are a work in progress at this point and we’ll see what they decide to do to improve their franchise.