As far as I know, NFL teams have exactly one task to complete before the franchise tag deadline in early March: get those contracts in order!
As far as I can tell, the Saints ownership is too busy with Mardi Gras – which is totally understandable. We are the only city in the country that closes public schools for holidays dedicated to debauchery and for Super Bowl victory celebrations. By the way, we just passed the two-year anniversary of the best interception ever and the best on-side kick ever. Reflect, celebrate, Who Dat.
Allow me to recap: Drew Brees (QB, duh) is a free agent; Carl Nicks (G) is a free agent, Marques Colston (WR) is a free agent; Robert Meachem (WR) is a free agent; Jo Lonn Dunbar (LB) is a free agent; Aubrayo Franklin (DT) is a free agent – that’s just the starters.
At least the first three will not renew cheaply. We have a franchise tag (read: we get to force a player to stay with us or sit out, but we have to pay him quite a chunk of money equal to the average salary of the top five players at that position). For Brees, a tag would be $16 million a year – probably cheaper than what he could demand without it. There are rumors that he’s hesitant to sign a tag after it didn’t work out so well last time, and that he would sit his ass on the bench and out of training camp until he agreed to the one-year tag deal. There are also rumors that he’s willing to take less money to keep the band together. The only thing that seems certain is that the matter is not settled.
It seems clear that Brees will get signed one way or another, but how he chooses to do so impacts the deals we can make with the other free agents, plus the defensive free agents out there new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnolo would love to have. Nicks is expect to be next in line for the franchise tag if it isn’t used on Brees, and he’ll probably get big money cause, let’s face it, a good guard is hard to come by. He’s part of the reason Brees stays healthy. Word is we’re not really even trying to re-sign Colston, who has been getting seventh-round pick money for 5 years and is probably going to pull a Fujita and go where they pay him like Megatron.
The good news: we have two more years to look at Jimmy Graham’s glorious redheaded studliness for the low-low price of about half a million dollars.
As of lent, I hope our boys start focusing on getting their ducks in a row…