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Colston or Nicks: Who Stays and Who Goes?

Who will stay: Colston or Nicks? That is the question.

It is 99 percent certain that Drew Brees will be staying in New Orleans for a while, as he is expected to be signed to a record contract and has said that the deal should be done soon. Saints receiver Marques Colston and guard Carl Nicks wish they could say the same about their futures with the team but in reality they both have question marks above their heads.

The Saints have limited funds to go around and might not be able to afford both players. Colston has stated that he, "Will not give the team a hometown discount." Nicks has expressed his disinterest in the franchise tag and wants a long-term deal himself. Until Brees gets signed, the uncertainty will continue to build.

Both Nicks and Colston have been crucial cogs in the Saints offensive machine, and have been productive since they were rookies. In Colston's career, he has totaled 6,240 yards and 48 touchdowns. He has been Drew's security blanket in tight situations and is probably his favorite receiver. Being very tall and having decent speed, Colston is a great possession receiver.

Nicks is widely viewed as the best guard in the league. His role on the team is a little more important because he protects Drew, even more so due to his size. In Nicks' career, he has twice been a Pro Bowler as well as being named to the All-Pro team twice.

In my opinion, I think that the Saints will let Colston walk and keep Nicks. With the emergence of record breaking tight end Jimmy Graham, you can wonder if the team feels Colston is expendable. Don't get me wrong, Colston is a tremendous player and has contributed immensely, but Brees isn't short on targets at which to throw. Replacing him wouldn't be that difficult either with other receivers hitting the market this year such as Plaxico Burress, Vincent Jackson, and Randy Moss, who recently expressed his interest in getting back into the league.

If the Saints lost Carl Nicks, the void would be much greater to fill. They would be losing a player on the Madden Most Valuable Protectors tandem and Brees' best guard. There also are not too many Pro Bowl guards floating around that are willing to play for cheap.

Obviously, we as fans would be ecstatic to have Colston and Nicks both return next year, but the numbers will be very hard work. The Saints' number one enemy this off-season, the salary cap, is going to get closer and closer to being met with the many players the Saints will need to re-sign. Ultimately, the team will have to decide if they feel comfortable without one of these players. If so, one or both could be let go to save a little cash.