Oh, sorry; didn't see you there. I guess I must've fallen asleep. Can you blame me? This has got to be the most boring, uneventful off-season in the history of all off-season's. Not that it's a surprise, of course, just that I had no idea it would actually be this boring. You know something is seriously wrong if both Canal Street Chronicles and the Times-Pic are finding inspiration from Pro Football Talk.
The unrestricted free agency period has been, ironically, restricted for the Saints thanks to the new CBA provisions for top playoff teams so there aren't many possible free agent acquisitions to discuss and debate. Once Fujita left for Cleveland and the team was finally allowed to join the fun, most of the players they'd scheduled visits with either cancelled or signed with another team (Delhomme, Little, Kemoeatu). James Hall is the only player they might sign but that's looking neither likely nor interesting.
So I've made that inspiration of our featured poll on the left sidebar for a little while here. Go cast your vote. It's also the first topic up for debate and consideration. Feel free to also use this thread to discuss previous off-seasons and how they compare to this one so far. What was the most exciting off-season in Saints history? And by all means, share your thoughts on how you think this off-season is shaping up thus far.
If there has been anything noteworthy to talk about this off-season it is other teams' interest in Saints free agents and the depressing, worrisome fear that the front office might let our championship team be picked apart like a Thanksgiving turkey. Scott Fujita's gone, Charles Grant got the axe, Sharper's status is still up in the air, Mike Bell requires no compensation to sign elsewhere and now Anthony Hargrove is attracting interest. There are quite a few key names on that list.
Honestly, I think given the amount of free agents the Saints had to deal with this off-season, they've done a good job of "showing the love" and appear to have made some smart, tough decisions in an effort to save some money and not overpay (see: Sharper). Since many of the players they had to handle in free agency were restricted, however, and since that part of the free agency period doesn't heat up until the unrestricted free agency period cools, the possibility of future pillaging does exist. It's important to remember that they just can't keep everyone; it's the nature of the beast. Especially given their apparently high payroll and with future contracts to think about.
Hargrove's scheduled visit to Detroit may signal that drying up of the unrestricted free agent pool and forecast the league-wide movement of teams beginning to dip into the restricted free agent market. Since we don't have much else to talk about, I am making that the second topic for today. If Hargrove were made an offer, the Saints would then have the option to match that offer or let him walk and receive a third round draft pick. What would you prefer to see the Saints do if put in that situation? Is Hargrove a valuable part of this team or would a third round pick be of better use? Is the off-season about to get more exciting and possibly more worrisome?