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What Does the Future Hold for Scott Shanle?

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In a Brian Alee-Walsh article posted Friday, Scott Shanle says he hopes to be playing football with a fleur-de-lis on his helmet this season. As you know, he's currently a free agent without a contract. This is why he's currently staying away from the teams' voluntary organized workouts.

"Obviously, I would like to be there but for me I would never forgive myself if I went to work out with the team and did something stupid while I wasn’t under contract, especially under these circumstances,’’ Shanle told SportsNOLA.com on Thursday.

"You can say what you want, that guys can go at their own speed this time of year. But the bottom line is when you get around other guys and you start to compete, you’re not just going to go through the motions. The danger comes when you’re competing. It’s in our nature to do that. You can watch film and stuff like that but once you get out on the field, it gets competitive.’’

Shanle is one of the more talked about Saints here at CSC and the comments usually aren't of a positive nature. Personally, I don't have a big problem with him. If Gregg Williams says he's underrated, then I'm willing to give "Lunch Pail" the benefit of the doubt. Could we do better than Shanle at strong side linebacker? Absolutely, but we could also probably do a lot worse.

Alee-Walsh thinks it'll take a "team-friendly" contract to keep Shanle in NOLA.

Regardless of Shanle’s free agent status, there is no doubt that he remains tied to Coach Sean Payton, who acquired him from the Cowboys prior to the 2006 season for a seventh-round pick in 2007.

Whether that kinship (a la Gregg Williams and Prioleau) translates into Shanle receiving a new contract with the Saints remains to be seen. If Shanle can strike a deal in New Orleans, it likely will be more "team friendly'' than ''player friendly.'' Last week, Team Loomis selected Illinois linebacker Martez Wilson in the third round of the draft and up-and-coming LB Jonathan Casillas is due back after missing last season following Lisfranc surgery.

Shanle can play both strongside and weakside linebacker. Wilson is expected to begin his NFL career at strongside.

Everyone has high hopes for Martez Wilson and Jonathan Casillas looked pretty good last season before landing on the IR. Will they be ready to supplant Shanle at outside linebacker this season? Will Shanle even be resigned? As with everything else currently NFL-related, we'll have to wait until this damn lockout ends to even begin to answer these questions.