Now that they've got Jonathan Vilma and Jon Stinchcomb locked up and made their mark in the early free agency frenzy by signing Jabari Greer, the Saints are close to entering the second wave of free agency. And so are many, if not all, of the other NFL teams. This means the unrestricted players who couldn't land the big bucks will start accepting more modest offers. It also means it's time for teams to start taking a look at restricted free agents.
Would Lance really leave us? (Photo Source)
While we've all been pre-occupied thinking about who is the hottest cornerback on the free agent market that the Saints can grab, we may have overlooked the fact that we've actually got a pretty hot commodity ourselves; Lance Moore. And while he is restricted, he is by no means unattainable. Moore was tendered a one-year, $1.545 million dollar offer. If Lance accepts a deal with another team then the Saints receive a second round draft pick as compensation. However, the Saints have the option to match whatever offer he receives.
And offers he should receive. Following a breakout year, Moore has been mentioned a number of times as a very desirable wideout this off-season. USA Today had him listed as one of this off-season's biggest free agent prizes while Michael Lombardi of the National Football Post thinks he would be well worth the second round pick. Lombardi is right. You know it and I know it.
Unfortunately, I think a lot of teams in the league might know it too. In an off-season when second round picks can buy a lot, Moore appears to be a steal. Don't forget also that the Saints don't have a second round pick in the draft. Or a third for that matter. To make matters worse, the Saints should be getting pretty darn close to that salary cap right about now. If Moore receives a decent sized offer it might be really difficult to match it and make the numbers work. All of a sudden this is looking like a real possibility.
So what team might actually try and take our beloved Lance away from us? New England would be a team that could very well show a lot of interest in Moore. He is often compared to Wes Welker - both are quality posession receivers and similar in size - so we know Lance could fit in Belichick's system. The Pats also have a top-flight quarterback who would be able get the most out of Lance and maximize his potential. And, oh yeah, they have three second round picks so they could afford to lose one. Just a thought.
I don't know. Maybe no teams will think Moore is worth it. Or Maybe the Saints have financially prepared for a rainy day should he get a nice offer. But we might want to prepare ourselves should some stuff start hittin' the fan. Things could get ugly.