Here we are now one day following the restricted free agent signing period and we still have not heard anything regarding Saints restricted free agents Lance Moore and Jahri Evans. Seriously, though, what is going on? I would have thought if no offers were made, reports would surface quickly that both players have just accepted their original tendered offers. Instead we know nothing. Well what the hell man!? Hook a brother up! You know we've got nothing to talk about this time of year! You leave us no choice but to ask questions and speculate.
Could an offer possibly have been made for either of these players?
Though Evans is the best player on the Saints offensive line I'm not sure many teams would show interest given what it would cost to acquire him. Moore on the other hand has been regarded as one of the top restricted free agencts available. Why wouldn't you want Lance? It wouldn't surprise me if more than one team has made a play for Lance and the Saints are now figuring out what their best trade options are. With only one draft pick on day one, the Saints would certainly have to consider it.
What team(s) would make an offer?
There are a lot of teams that could use a guy like Lance. It doesn't necessarily have to be the Jets but it is certainly within the realm of possibility (Hat tip to Ranger565 for being the first to speculate). It is a fact that the Jets are in the market for a wide receiver and have already been shopping other restricted free agent receivers like Miles Austin of the Dallas Cowboys. If an offer was made to Lance Moore, the Saints would have one week to match that offer. We have now begun that one week period and we could very well be in the midst of some serious decision making by the Saints. As we speak they could be deciding whether or not Lance Moore is more valuable as himself or as bargaining chip.
But if that was the case, why wouldn't we at least have heard about Jahri Evans?
If the media acknowledged that the Saints had re-signed Evans with no mention of Lance Moore, surely that would create a firestorm of speculation about the status of Moore's contract that all teams involved would just rather do without. I'm thinking we will hear about both at the same time.
Could this delay be caused by something else?
Absolutely. Just because we haven't heard anything doesn't mean that the front office is facing a decision to trade or keep either of these players. The could very well be hammering out long-term deals with Moore and Evans. The Saints have been pretty darn good about rewarding their best players and making them feel secure. It wouldn't surprise me one bit if we found out that they were each offered long-term contracts.
However, with the possibility of an uncapped 2010 season looming and limited cap space, it might make sense for the Saints to stick with the one-year deals and wait until next year to offer Moore and Evans longer contracts. Financially, this would be the most sound decision and this fact alone gives a little more credence to the trade possibility.
The only thing we can probably say for sure is that the longer we don't hear anything, the more likely it is that something is going on. Whether it be a trade or a long-term signing is anybody's guess.
The waiting continues. Until then the real question remains; should the Saints trade Lance Moore if they can?