Steve: What's next for the Saints?
While the NFL free agency period has quieted down a bit following a fast and furious opening, that doesn’t mean there still isn’t important business to take care of, especially for the Saints.
The team needed a safety, and checked that off the to-do list in a big way by inking 3-time Pro Bowler Jairus Byrd to a 6 year deal. Great; but now what?
My top priority right now if I worked for the Saints would be to shore up the offensive line that protects “the franchise” Drew Brees. There were too many times this past season when Brees got rocked, definitely more than I’ve ever seen in the past. The numbers don’t lie either; he was sacked a career-high 37 times, and each one made the Who Dat Nation cringe and gasp.
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Tackle Zach Strief and center Brian De La Puente are both free agents and still currently on the market. The buzz is that the Dolphins and Jets may take a look-see at Strief while the market for De La Puente has been rather tepid, with only the Giants having expressed interest.
I could see Strief retuning to the Saints, but feel like De La Peunte’s days in Black & Gold are done.
Some other o-line possibilities out on the open market right now are:
Tackle Donald Penn
He was released by Tampa after the Bucs signed free agent Anthony Collins. Penn has never missed a game, but his play seemed to take plunge last year. Still he is the top ranked tackle currently available.
Tackle Michael Oher
He is best known for being the subject of the book turned move “The Blindside”. Oher has spent the first 5 years of his career working on the right side of the Baltimore Ravens offensive line, but he has never been able to develop into the top-tier bookend they were hoping for.
Center Evan Dietrich-Smith
Dietrich-Smith appeared in all 16 games each of the past three seasons in Green Bay and split time between center and guard. He started all 16 this past season strictly at center and would definitely be an upgrade for the Saints. The big question though…is his price tag fairly reasonable?
Tags : Topics : SportsSocial : SportsLocations : TampaPeople : Anthony Collins, Brian De La Puente, Dietrich-Smith Dietrich-Smith, Donald Penn, Donald Penn He, Drew Brees, Evan Dietrich-Smith, Jairus Byrd, Michael Oher, Michael Oher He, Zach Strief