Clinton Portis Just Said... by Preston J. Gary, Jr.
While listening to Sirius NFL Radio's "Late Hits", I heard an interview with Clinton Portis. Portis is 29, and will become a free agent needing 77 yards to eclipse the 10,000 yard mark. When asked about free agency, Portis said he was hoping to join the New Orleans Saints (before the draft). New Orleans was the first team on his list. His reasons were that 1) he grew up in Mississippi and was a lifelong Saints fan, 2) he wanted to go to an offense where the QB was the centerpiece, running everything-- a QB like Drew, and 3) just wanted to be somewhere where he could contribute in a steady rotation. He thought the Saints were the perfect situation for him.
For the record, I'm not saying "let's sign Portis". We have no need; with Ingram, Pierre, Reggie, and Ivory, we're more than fine. I'm not sure I'd even want Portis if we suffered an injury, lord forbid. If my option were between Portis and Julius Jones, well, let's sign Portis. I digress. The point of this post is to call attention to and celebrate the fact that free agents are now targeting New Orleans as a place worthy of top consideration.
Let that sink in for a minute. We no longer have to overpay washed up vets or up comers (who never finish coming up) to add a free agent. Look no further than Shaun Rodgers-- no one can argue his talent, his motor maybe, but not his talent or production. Yet he signed with the Saints for about $2 million less than other teams offered-- because he wants to win. If that doesn't convince you, look at the free agents we've been able to KEEP in the past 5 years. Almost every player wanted to stay with the team. We no longer have a LeCharles Bentley or Kyle Turley or Willie Roaf just wanting out of here.
I'd have to say that the culture has now changed. Payton, Loomis, Brees and the Community (us fans) have made New Orleans a spot free agents not only want to come to, but will take less money to come to. Who Dat?