Tuesday marked the start of what truly has been a free agent frenzy in the NFL. Many surprising moves have taken place, including the shocking signing of one of the best safeties in all of football by a cash strapped New Orleans Saints team. Since that move, the Saints (as expected) have been relatively quiet in the free agent market. While it seems like everyone capable of wearing pads is visiting teams like the Denver Broncos and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (ugh!), the Saints haven't had anyone come in to visit.
According to Over The Cap, as of this writing, the Saints are actually over the cap by $1,136,843. It's hard to invite visitors when the money to spend simply isn't there. But we know Mickey. He'll make it work, right? Besides, this team still needs a starting right tackle, a starting center, a cornerback, and possibly an outside linebacker. Wide receiver depth sure wouldn't hurt either, especially if Joe Morgan is not resigned.
Of all the positions of need, one would argue that outside of the draft, it is tough to find a bargain at tackle in today's NFL. I think the proof is shown after the first couple of days in free agency. The following is a list of some of the tackles signed to contracts in the past couple of days.
Eugene Monroe: resigned to a 5 yrs, 37.5 mil by BAL
Jared Veldheer: signed to a 5 yrs, 35 mil by ARZ
Branden Albert: signed to a 5 yrs, 46 mil by MIA
Roger Saffold: signed to 5 year deal by STL
Breno Giacomini: signed to a multi year deal by NYJ
Austin Howard: signed to a 5 year, 30 mil deal by OAK.
A part of what is interesting here is that the Jets invited Strief for a visit just in case they were unable to retain Howard. Well, Oakland hooked him up for an average of 6 million per season. Instead of going for Strief as the second option, the Jets landed former Seahawks tackle Breno Giacomini. So what does that mean for Strief moving forward? Did he ask for too much or did the Jets see Giacomini as the better option?
There are few tackles left in free agency available that could compare to what Strief could bring to the table as the Saints right tackle in 2014. The interest in Strief seems to be lower than some of us may have thought, which means that the Saints may be able to retain the veteran tackle at a bargain price and hopefully put all of this to rest. The Who Dat Nation wants to see you in Black And Gold Zach, let's get this done!
Hopefully, Strief's familiarity with this offense along with playing for a championship contender will allow the Saints to secure an important piece to the championship puzzle in 2014. While this team still needs to address some holes and should do so in the draft, here's to hoping that right tackle is not one of them.