It's a little after midnight in south Louisiana, and I, like many loyal Who Dats are trying our best to keep calm and trust in PayLoo.
But I can't help but to skim the free agent boards and play GM. Obviously, the biggest interest has been at cornerback so let's start there...
1. Keenan Lewis
(Gotta love those bumblebee uniforms). Lewis has the ability to get his hands on the ball and was arguably Pittsburgh's best corner last season. He will be 27 to start the season, runs in the 4.4 range, has decent size at 6'0", and his a New Orleans native. Lewis only has 2012 to brag about on his resume, but he would be coming from what was a pretty deep 3-4 Steelers defense. Every time I watched the Steelers play, Lewis passed the eye test. From what I have read, the Steelers are also very cap strapped (about $3 mil in space right now) and don't have the luxury to hold onto him. He could easily be inserted as a #2 CB on this defense, if the rumors of he wanting $7-8 mil a season is not true. That's a bit high, but I wouldn't mind shelling out about $4-5 mil for the hometown kid.
Another guy who will be 27 to start the 2013 season. He didn't exactly have a great 2012, but he did have 7 picks in 2011. He's a little short for my liking, but he's a guy who may come cheap since he hasn't been talked about all that much. He has proven that he can play, and a fresh start may be what he needs.
For the past 2 seasons, Williams has proven that he can start and be productive for one of the league's most intimidating defenses. It also happens to be a 3-4 defense. The Ravens are deep at CB, so they can afford to let Williams walk. But it definitely isn't a knock on his ability. He's the physical CB that PRob hopes to be (6'1", 190) Williams will be 28 to start the season and could be worthy of a 2 or 3 year deal.
The tackle position (especially LT) seems unaffordable and out of the price range for the cap strapped Saints. I think the most likely scenario is that we draft a tackle and bring a couple of UDFAs in. I don't like that route, because finding the diamond in the rough to play LT (not drafted in the first 2 rounds) is a very very risky route to take. It seems like if we grab a LT in free agency, he will be average at best. Another option may be to grab someone like Vollmer (not likely) or Trueblood to play RT and move Strief to LT. It's looking more and more like a Brown/Strief tackle duo. Ugh.
A couple of "under the radar" TEs interest me, guys that can be rather cheap yet still contribute to this system.
1. Kellen Davis
The Steelers are currently interested in the recently cut Davis (Bears added Martellus Bennett), and they should be. He's a big guy (6'7" 267 lbs) who can block and has 4.6 speed. He underachieved when given the opportunity to be the top TE for the Bears, but he would be perfect as a #2 guy at the position for the Saints. As mentioned above, the Steelers and Saints are both tight on cash, so this could be a bidding war that we can win. Adding a big, solid blocking TE to play with Jimmy would be a nice add.
He would have to come in at the veteran minimum, which could be a possibility since he will be 33 years old. He's not my favorite choice here, but the run on TEs to start this thing was pretty rapid, so there isn't much left. Dustin Keller (who I actually like less) appears to be heading to Miami and Cleveland has interest in Fred Davis to fill Watson's role (don't trust Davis' character).
When it comes to the NT position, I wonder what it would take to get a veteran guy like Ma'ake Kemoeatu or Casey Hampton in on one year deals? It would be nice to rotate in/out a veteran of the 3-4 NT position to help groom whatever NT we inevitably decide to draft (or Hicks, if he's the answer there). Both are leaving successful franchises, so i'd imagine that playing for a minimum salary for a contender could be attractive, considering the lack of offers they are both receiving so far.
Any chance this guy would want to play for brother of Rex? This still cracks me up.
Anyways, let's hope we have some new Saints to talk about tomorrow. They keep on leaving, but no one is coming...sucks being broke.