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Kristian Garic

Talk sports and more with Kristian and Seth Dunlap on "Double Coverage!" 

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Twitter: @kristiangaric
Email: kristian@wwl.com

Kristian: No cash leaves Saints with a few holes in early goings of free agency

Kristian@wwl.com - The Saints were able to free up some cap space by restructuring the contracts of LB Jonathan Vilma and DE Will Smith on this first day of NFL free agency.  Following news of the deal to restructure his contract, along with a reported pay cut, Smith Tweeted, "Loyalty is everything."  Despite the fact that the Saints saved $12.3 million today, and now hover about $7.4 million under the cap, the Black & Gold lost a fairly significant player on the left side of the offensive line today.

Windy City payday:  Jermon Bushrod is reuniting with Aaron Kromer in Chicago.  The Bears gave the man most responsible for protecting Drew Brees at left tackle 5 years at $35.6 million, with $17.7 million of that guaranteed.  That's a lot for a team that is trying to rebuild their defense.  Bushrod was one of my favorites to talk to after the games, but I would have passed on $7 million per year if I were the Saints.

Daniel going home:  Chase Daniel spent three seasons with the Saints as the understudy to Drew Brees, and now has a 3 year deal with the Kansas City Chiefs.  Daniel will now compete with Alex Smith for the starting job.  He’s always looked at himself as a starting quarterback in the NFL, and now he might get his chance. Daniel played collegiately at the University of Missouri, and many Chiefs fans are abuzz about the prospect of getting a “local boy” in the fold at QB.

Interest:  The Saints have shown interest in a few players on the defensive side of the ball so far.  LB Victor Butler, who was with Rob Ryan in Dallas, is on the Saints Radar.  So is former LSU standout DT Rickey Jean-Francois, now with the Niners.  And, I’ve also learned the Saints are interested in DB Brice McCain, most recently with the Texans. The Saints have not yet scheduled any visits with the aforementioned players at this time.

It's early:  I know fans want the Saints to go out and spend a ton of money right away, but that's not in their style.  The Black and Gold wait for the market to settle, and then go find bargains.  GM Mickey Loomis and Coach Sean Payton know what they are doing.  They don't go into anything without having a "What If" plan.  

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Topics : Religion_BeliefSports
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Locations : ChicagoDallasMissouriWidy City
People : Aaron KromerAlex SmithBrice McCainChase DanielDrew BreesJermon BushrodJonathan VilmaMickey LoomisRickey Jean-FrancoisRob RyanSean PaytonVictor ButlerWill Smith

03/12/2013 9:40PM
Kristian: No cash leaves Saints with a few holes in early goings of free agency
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03/13/2013 9:27AM
Great Writeup...
Good piece, Kristian. The Saints don't have a whole lot of money to throw around, so the bargains won't be as evident this early in the free agency period. While losing Bushrod was rough, we will still be okay. This is a good draft for offensive lineman, and I believe we can pick up someone to help out. Not sure whether that will be 1st round or not (we really need a good 3-4 defensive end, nose tackle, or outside linebacker), but I trust Sean and Mickey to help bring us back stronger in '13. Not sure if we could afford him, but Bradie James might be available as well, and he's no stranger to the 3-4. It'd be nice to see a former LSU Tiger in the Dome. There's always the possibility of us trading down the 1st to gain more picks and players in the process. We just need our 1st pick this year to be a difference maker, as I can't really remember the last time one of our 1st round picks really blew you away with his great playing ability.
03/13/2013 9:30AM
What About Roman Harper?
The Saints need to show Roman Harper the door. I know he's a defensive captain and all, but his play hasn't matched his salary. I was surprised to see the Saints keep both Will Smith and Jonathan Vilma given their age and production the past few seasons. I just hope they still have enough in the tank to make a difference. I would like to see the Saints trade either Mark Ingram or Chris Ivory for a player and possibly a pick or two. Not sure what the market value will be, but we certainly don't need 4-5 backs on the roster at all times. I was a huge fan of Ingram when we drafted him, but he hasn't shown much since he came to the NFL. Ivory is good, but often inconsistent and fumble prone. We should definitely keep Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles though, there's no questioning that.
03/13/2013 10:04AM
Backup QB
What are we going to do about a QB backup? Bring Canfield or McCown back or Try and Undrafted Free Agency. We need all of our Draft Picks for Defence. Also, Who are we looking at for Bushrod's replacement? Bryce Harris, Marcel Jones or William Robinson?
03/13/2013 11:26AM
Vilma and Smith
The Saints should have cut Vilma and Smith because at this stage in their careers the production does not match their salaries. The Saints have to get younger more athletic defensive players who have a big upside. Great organizations like the Patriots, Ravens, Steelers just to name a few are the best at turning their rosters over. In other words, those organizations do not keep aging and under-performing veterans with big salaries on their rosters. I do not agree with the decision to let Bushrod go.
03/13/2013 3:07PM
Rod Guidry in Sacramento
Best GM and Head Coach in all the NFL. I certainly trust them in how they handle things. Another Superbowl on the way. I look for them to address LT in the middle rounds of the drafts. The defense in the 1st and 3rd rounds. God Bless my fellow Saints fans.
03/14/2013 12:29AM
Saints offense
We all know its going to take a year or two for the defense to be any good and they need at least 6-8 new players on D that can impact the game. We need to look at adding 1 deep threat and 1 more TE which will allow us to score at least 10 more points a game. That's really our best shot. In addition we can ignore the over the last 1.5 years, Colston has been having a little fumbulia issues with the ball. I hope they pull the trigger soon, even if its someone like Charles Woodson to play center field coach like Sharper did. Best of luck,
03/14/2013 8:02AM
no cash no problem
saints should ride with charles brown and find a developmental tackle in rd 4 and below like they have been doin. plenty of depth in o-line heavy draft. spend salary cap bucks on the defense!
03/14/2013 8:14AM
no more roman harper
The fist thing the saints should have done with free agency is trade roman harper. He is good against the run, but he can't cover at all. He is always running behind receivers, or getting PI flag on him. We need a young fast hard hitting guy in thesecondary. Roman Harper is not the guy!
03/14/2013 11:04AM
Some Posters Mourning Bushrod?
Maybe I'm watching something else, but in key downs, Bushrod was the "go to" weak side for opponents. I distinctly remember Dallas having their way with him in '09 and there was last season's play of him being used to get Brees. It was called "bulldogging" and NOT pretty. He may have been personable, but we lost advancement on key downs because of his penalties, or inadequate performance.
03/14/2013 11:34AM
cash flow
Brees and his contact is why we are short funded. Even if he restructures, we are not talking about a lot of money coming off the salary cap.
03/14/2013 11:36AM
We are stuck with him because of the guaranteed money.
03/17/2013 10:18PM
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