Analyzing the Saints 2010 Free Agents: Offensive Line

Today we're talking about the guys that get paid to take care of Drew Brees: the offensive line. Set to hit the free agency market from the front line are five players, including starters Jammal Brown and Jahri Evans. 

We can probably all agree that Evans will sign a big contract; the big question here is what the Saints will do with Jammal Brown. How much should he get paid and would the Saints think about trading him? And how does Jermon Bushrod fit into the picture? 

Let's hear your thoughts. 

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Uncapped 2010 off-season disclaimer...

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, instead become restricted. For our purposes here, we have assumed there will be no new CBA and are considering these players restricted. This is represented by an asterisk(*). In the unlikely event that a new CBA is reached before the 2010 season, these players would then be considered unrestricted.

Also keep in mind that because of the top eight provision, the Saints will not be allowed to sign any unrestricted free agents unless they let the equal value of unrestricted free agents go.

Jammal Brown

Offensive Tackle

Restricted Free Agent*

Analysis:  The Saints will offer Brown a contract, the only question will be how much it's worth. With Jahri Evans and Jermon Bushrod needing to be taken care of as well, there may not be as much left as he wants. Jammal's status and durability are questionable after spending most of last season on IR. If another team showed interest in Brown, the Saints might very well be willing to part ways.

Opinion: Things could get interesting.  

 

Jahri Evans

Guard

Restricted Free Agent*

Analysis: Probably one of the biggest priorities for the Saints this off-season is taking care of their Pro-Bowl guard. Evans is arguably the best player at the position in the entire league so the Saints will have to pay him as such. 

Opinion: It's payday for Jahri.  

 

Jermon Bushrod

Offensive Tackle

Restricted Free Agent

Analysis: Bushrod will definitely be tendered an offer after filling in quite nicely for Jammal Brown most of last season. Jermon may have needed some help at times but he's definitely serviceable and still young with lots of potential. Things should get interesting in training camp next season. 

Opinion: He stays.  

 

Zach Strief

Offensive Tackle

Restricted Free Agent*

Analysis: I thought this might be the year Mr. Eligible actually catches a pass - perhaps on a broken play -but alas, it was not to be. Strief has been great for support in the blocking game and is versatile enough to play both sides. Plus, he's got something you just can't teach - size. Dude is huge.

Opinion: I hope he stays. 


Nick Leckey

Center

Unrestricted Free Agent

Analysis: Since he's the only other center on the roster, the Saints may very well offer him a contract. Or they may wait it out and try to pull the old switch-a-roo with another unrestricted free agent center or even draft one.  

Opinion: Probably won't make it.

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