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In Defense of Scott Shanle

Look, I know Scott Shanle isn't the best outside linebacker known to man. And I know Saints fans are hoping they've seen the last of Shanle, who will be an unrestricted free agent whenever the free agency period actually begins. Many Who Dat's don't believe the team will re-sign him. But I'm not sure the Saints are just going to let him walk away. And I'm not sure I'd like to see that happen either.

Sure, the Saints could probably find a better starter and upgrade the position. And to be honest, I truly hope that happens. The Saints should always be striving for improvement. But just because we all believe that Shanle isn't acceptable starter material doesn't mean he'll no longer be useful or won't stay with the team.

I think fans are completely disregarding the importance of his experience and his knowledge of the playbook. That shouldn't overlooked even slightly. And yes, he's even got some football talent as well. I mean, let's give the man some credit. He's beaten out numerous guys in training camp over many years to earn a starting spot in a complicated Gregg Williams scheme. There is a reason he's gotten to where he is today. And if he's available for the right price, I certainly don't think you just go throwing that away without some serious thought.

Of course, like every damn thing in the NFL, it's all about money. Keeping Shanle would first and foremost need to be at the right price. Last season Shanle earned $1.8 million. I'm not even sure he'd garner that much interest on the free agent market but now at 31 years old, I would assume he'd command a contract less than that and in the short term. Those numbers don't seem bank-breaking to me.

So why not keep him? We can all hope for an upgraded linebacking corp but in the event that one or more of the Saints shiny new starters gets injured - which is inevitable - it seems to make more sense to have your former starter filling in, as opposed to someone like, say, Ezra Butler. You may not want Shanle starting for the Saints anymore but that doesn't mean he shouldn't stick around for depth purposes at the least.

Let's give #58 a little more respect, whadya say?