Analyzing the Saints 2010 Free Agents: Defensive Backs

The first phase of the NFL off-season, free agency, will be upon us in just a few short weeks on March 5th. With nearly thirty free agents on the roster this off-season, including some key players, the free agency period will be a busy one for the Saints

Canal Street Chronicles begins the long, dull days of off-season coverage today with a look at all of the Saints free agents. 

Throughout this series of posts, it's important to keep in mind the very real possibility that a new CBA will not be reached this off-season and that the 2010 season will uncapped. This means that any 4th or 5th year players, who would normally be unrestricted, then become restricted. This is represented by an asterisk (*).

Also keep in mind that because of the top 8 provision, the Saints will not be allowed to sign any free agents unless they let the dollar equivalent of free agents go. That means they've got more of an incentive to let free agents walk.

We begin our series with a look at the secondary.

Leigh Torrence  

Cornerback

Unrestricted Free Agent*

Analysis: Torrence would become a restricted free agent in the event of an uncapped season but I doubt any offer will be made. The Stanford grad has made his living as a defense/special teams role player, bouncing around the league between four teams in five years. Now he's coming back from a season-ending shoulder injury. I doubt he's very high on the priority list for the Saints. Regardless of his free agency status, Leigh could find himself on yet another team next year. 

Opinion: Let him go. 

 

Roman Harper

Safety

Unrestricted Free Agent*

Analysis: This is one of those situations where the possibility of an uncapped season in 2010 might actually help the Saints. If 2010 is uncapped than Harper becomes a restricted free agent instead, thus allowing the Saints a better chance of keeping him or getting some value if they let him go. I would definitely expect the team to tender an offer in that situation.  

Opinion: Keep him.

 

Darren Sharper

Safety

Unrestricted Free Agent

Analysis: If there is one thing we all learned this season it's that Darren Sharper still has plenty of football left in the tank. Sharper and his bevy of interceptions was the key to the Saints defensive turnaround this year. They need to make signing Sharper one of their top priorities this off-season. Hopefully the euphoria of winning a Super Bowl combined with Gregg Williams' scheme and the fact that the Saints believed in him last off-season will be enough to keep Sharper around next year. 

Opinion:  Keep him!

 

Pierson Prioleau

Safety

Unrestricted Free Agent

Analysis: If Gregg Williams has anything to say about it, Prioleau will be a New Orleans Saint in 2010. Pierson has followed Williams his entire career - Buffalo, Washington, Jacksonville and New Orleans - so he must see something. I don't think many teams will be going crazy for the ten year veteran safety. If the Saints can keep him for cheap, we might continue to see Prioleau's good special teams play next season. 

Opinion:  Always liked Prioleau. Find a way to keep him. 

 

Usama Young

Safety 

Restricted Free Agent

Analysis: This is a tough one. I'm not sure the Saints would tender Young an offer. If Usama doesn't catch on somewhere else, the Saints might be able to get him back cheap. Unfortunately, it may come down to a numbers game and Young could be the loser. 

Opinion:  Sadly, might not be back. 

 

Chris Reis

Safety

Restricted Free Agent

Analysis: Like Usama Young's situation, this one is a tough call. Reis is on the borderline; I'm not so sure the Saints would tender him an offer.  His special teams play and performance during the Super Bowl could possibly be his saving grace, however. 

Opinion: Keep him.  

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