Marques Colston is history as a Saint. The Saint cannot match the offers he will get from the rest of league. He will get in the 10 to 12 million in the open market and with the way Brees spreads the ball around, there is no way they can justify that type of salary. They can probably still sign Carl Nicks, but expect Robert Meachem to get offers that the Saints will not be able to match. He will probably get at least one offer for 5 to 6 million, which the Saints cannot match. Someone is going to see those yards per catch and see a potential #2 receiver. Tracy Porter is also gone. With the scandal I just think he will want to distance himself and besides I think again someone will offer him money, we cannot match. We will loses at two draft picks to this scandal, so free agency is the only way the Saints will have to rebuild.
We need to cut Vilma and Smith. Smith will save 5.75 mil and Vilma will save 4.4 mil versus the cap. In real money it will save the Saints 7.75 mil and 4.4 mil this season and 10.4 mil next season. The importance of both figures is this. Cap money is money that can be manipulated to sign free agents and real money is money that get used to lure players from other teams. For instance, a 4 million dollar signing bonus on a 4 year contracts counts as one million in cap dollars, but that player get 4 million real dollars the moment he signs. By saving 12.15 mil real dollars, that is 12.15 mil in signing bonuses, which can spread over long term contracts.
Sid Ellis is another possibility, he is a 6.257 mil cap hit and 4.316 mil in real dollars, but he would only save about 2.4 mil against the cap because of his huge signing bonus. Can we get a dt of his ilk for 2.4 mil, I don't think so.
If we weren't about to lose two wideouts to free agency I would cut Devery Henderson, I like Dev, but he does have the production to warrant 3.525 mil in cap dollars. However, we can only cut him, if we resign Colston or Meachem. Though I would hope they are talking to him about modifying his contract to make it more cap friendly.
Our only hope is to sign five or six key free agents. We might be able to get one or two guys out of our late draft picks, but that is always iffy. I like Dunbar to replace Vilma, but I would also go after a free agent linebacker or two, say Dan Connor (CAR) and Stephen Tulloch (DET). I would also try to pick up Mario Williams. I know this is ambitious, but he would be the player to really help our defense. I would also like a top safety and tight end. At safety, I like Richard Marshall from Arizona. He can play both corner and safety. He is hard hitter with good cover skills. I like him as a strong safety. At tight end, I like Jacob Tamme from Indianapolis. He has been a really good second tight end with Clark at Indy. He had a off season, because of Peyton's injury and can be gotten at a reasonable price. We need another tight end to compliment Jimmy and with all his concussions, I am worried about Thomas. We need a free agent wr, to replace Colston. I would go after New Orleans native Reggie Wayne.