Buckle up Saints fans because beginning at 10 a.m. EST this morning, the 2011 NFL free agency period will kick off with a bang. At that time, front offices across the country can begin to sign free agents, and with 136 lockout days to do nothing but ponder all the moves they'd like to make and only a few days to make them in, all hell is sure to break loose starting with today. To make sure we're all on the same page, here's a quick rundown of everything Saints fans can expect.
The Saints already began the task of signing undrafted free agents last night by negotiating contracts with the ten players. discussed this morning. Nothing is official, however, until they sign on the dotted line after 10 a.m. EST today. There may also be more undrafted free agent signings announced today.
There's also the possibility the team could begin the process of signing their drafted rookies today. That would most likely be the later round guys like Nate Bussey and Greg Romeus but with so little time before training camp begins, who knows? Perhaps first rounders Cam Jordan and Mark Ingram will ink deals also.
Then, of course, there is the Reggie Bush conundrum. He's either going to be cut outright with little salary cap penalty or they're going to renegotiate his contract to a more manageable salary. Either way, it's going to hit the fan when the news breaks and it could happen as early as today.
If that wasn't enough, the Saints should be busier than most teams as they decide what to do with their 26 veteran free agents. To sign or not to sign, that will be the question. Jermon Bushrod, Roman Harper, David Thomas, Lance Moore, Darren Sharper, Scott Shanle, Heath Evans and Zach Strief are all included on this list and the top most priorities, in my opinion. Who will the Saints re-sign and who will they let walk? That info could come anytime this week starting today. I can hardly contain myself.
Offensive guard Carl Nicks was the only restricted free agent offered a tender (1st round) before the lockout. Other teams could make him an offer shorty but it's highly doubtful given what they'd need to give up to acquire him. Expect him to re-sign with the Saints shortly.
Lastly, the Saints may have their eye set on other free agents across the league and submit offers to them beginning today. There are plenty of decent names out there that could help the team on both sides of the ball. Will they go after defensive tackle Barry Cofield or the soon to be released tight end Todd Heap? Anything can happen!
Did you get all that? It's the abridged version so just keep it here on Canal Street Chronicles all day long and keep hitting the refresh button because we're going to be on top of all the contract news that's fit to type. I have no other posts scheduled for today in anticipation of plenty of breaking news so consider this thread open until any roster announcements are made.
This should get interesting.