Kristian: Best of the Rest in Free Agency
Kristian@wwl.com - 3.18.13
Free agency is nearly a week old and the market is drying up quickly with a few big names still on the market. We'll take a look at the best available free agents and some possible fits for the Saints. I'll give you three names to watch at two different positions. Cornerback and Linebacker are up first. Tomorrow we'll look at offensive line and defensive line.
1. Nnamdi Asomugha: The 31 year old veteran was in New Orleans over the weekend for a sit down with the Saints. Asomugha is intriguing for the simple fact that he's still on the market. He doesn't have the leverage he had a week ago and the Saints could get a really good player at a pretty decent price. Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan is familiar with Asomugha having coached him, when the two were with the Raiders a few years ago.
2. Brent Grimes: He's still on the market after coming off an Achilles tendon injury that sidelined him for the entire 2012 season. If he's recovered, Grimes is a solid player. Some teams might question just how much he has recovered from his injury. Grimes is a notch below Asomugha as one of the top tier guys still available.
3. Antoine Winfield: He's 36 and that usually is considered ancient by NFL standards. The Vikings cut Winfield at the start of free agency, but he would fit in New Orleans if they miss out on Asomugha or Grimes. Winfield is likely headed toward a 1 year deal with his next team.
1. Victor Butler: He's definitely on the Saints radar, but also on other teams’ radar as well. He's a young player, and that's something the Saints love in plucking free agents off the market. Butler might command a bigger contract than the Saints are willing to pay for a guy who is an unproven back-up player in Dallas for four seasons. Rob Ryan knows this player pretty well too and can provide the Saints with some really good intel. I don't think he lands in New Orleans.
2. Elvis Dummervil: I have him ranked below Butler simply because I don't think the Saints can afford him. He would be a nice addition to the Black & Gold, but after the contract snafu in Denver he's going to look for big cash now that he has unexpectedly become a free agent.
3. James Harrison: The Saints have reached out to the veteran linebacker; gauging his interest in coming to New Orleans. I'm told Harrison would love to land in the Big Easy. However, this looks like a 1 or 2 year deal in the making. Harrison is in his mid-thirties with the possibility of just a season or two of good play left. The Saints could go with Harrison as some insurance in case they miss out on the guy they want in the draft.