Wow. I literally did not get out of bed until noon today (though that may have had more to do with the alcohol consumption from last night). Numb all over.
Unfortunately, the time for self-pitying is not long. We have a bunch of guys set to become free agents, coaches leaving for other opportunities, and PLENTY of holes to fill. Using this list of players set to become free agents next year, as well as my own opinion of what we need based on how this season unfolded, I will attempt to prognosticate our moves this offseason. Read on after the jump!
-Drew Brees. Obviously. The best quarterback in the NFL right now. I don't care who thinks that's homerism, it's the truth. Without Brees, this team is lost.
-Carl Nicks. The other half of our Pro Bowl Guard tandem. Key in both run and pass protection. Losing him severely injures our ability to do either. Despite what many people (read: Eagles) believe, games are won in the trenches. Spending 80% of your cap on skill position players does nothing, if you can't win the battle up front.
-Marques Colston. While I don't think he would do as well else where, and while I do think we have enough receiving options to make up for him leaving, I still think keeping our number 1 WR is a must.
-Chase Daniel. Becomes even more important if Brees somehow doesn't resign, as he is the only other quarterback on our roster. Has shown great ability to be a backup in our system, and I wouldn't relish the idea of having to train a new guy next year.
If The Money's Right
-Robert Meachem. If Colston walks, this moves up to a must. Explosive receiver, but could get bigger money elsewhere.
-Tracy Porter. Even though we all have a warm spot for Porter in our hearts, he was a big liability on defense this year. Maybe in a different scheme he will do well.
-Aubrayo Franklin. Especially if we move to a 3-4, if he's willing to stay here for cheap, then why not?
-Justin Drescher. Long snapper. Nuff said.
Let 'em Walk
-Fabian Washington. I didn't even realize he was on the roster.
WR- Vincent Jackson, Desean Jackson, Plaxico Burress. All proven number one guys. V-Jax and Burress would be an upgrade over Colston, as both are also big, strong, sure-handed receivers, but I believe may have a step on Colston in terms of speed. I'd love to see what Payton could do with Desean Jackson and Darren Sproles on the field at the same time.
OLB- Ahmad Brooks, Leroy Hill, Mario Williams, Lawrence Timmons. These are just a few of the big names out there at OLB this year. Please, don't make me suffer through another year of Scott Shanle and Will Herring. Please.
SS- Madieu Williams, Troy Polamalu, Jim Leonhard, Chris Hope, Dashon Goldson. Yes, Harper played well this season. But his liability in coverage is just getting too much to handle. Keep him for blitz packages, but we need someone who can play the position completely.
OC- Pete Carmichael, Jr., Hue Jackson, Rob Chudzinski. Not much out there right now. Carmichael is definitely our best bet. Don't let him leave.
DC- Steve Spagnuolo, Mike Nolan, Mike Zimmer, Vic Fangio. I'd really like to see a 3-4 here. Fangio and Nolan would bring that. Spagnuolo and Zimmer are both well respected as DC's around the league.