Derick Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Here's a plan for off-season success that will give the Saints an A+ grade.
About a week into the 2013 NFL year, the Saints have already begun to work towards team improvement. They have "shown interest" in a number of players such as Nnamdi Asomugha, Paul Kruger, Ricky Jean-Francois, Derek Cox, and Victor Butler. On March 14, they signed former Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Keenan Lewis to a 5-year, $26 million dollar deal.
While grabbing Keenan Lewis, who led the league in passes defended in 2012 with 23, was an excellent move, there is still a lot of work left to be done to upgrade the team. With a tight salary number, it will be tough to make some noise in free agency. So in order to create a little spending cash, something big needs to be done.
Discussions about Roman Harper, current Saints strong safety, have been mighty quiet. Going into this year's free agency period, he seemed to be one of the players that was either going to take a pay cut or be outright released. Nothing has happened so far, but it makes me wonder if he is being used as trade bait behind the scenes.
If the Saints were to trade Harper they could get anywhere from a third to a sixth round draft pick, depending on the receiving team's need for a decent, experienced safety. This could then clear out a whopping $7.1 million worth of cap room for the team, which would drop them to nearly $13 million under the cap. That is more than enough room to bring a defender such as Nnamdi Asomugha or Victor Butler, or an offensive weapon like Brandon Lloyd.
This would also make the Saints' decision on their first round draft choice easier. Roman Harper would need to be replaced, and the perfect successor for him would be Kenny Vaccaro out of Texas. He is a hard-hitting safety that can cover like a cornerback. In my opinion, he is one of the best players available in the entire draft.
If this scenario were to happen, it would be a dream-like situation. Honestly, it's pretty feasible. They could receive a mid-round draft pick, get some money to wheel and deal with, and still be in position to get a better safety.
This sounds like a good plan to me, how about you?