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NFL Free Agency 2013: Saints Successful Luring Players With More Than Money

Two players the Saints have signed in free agency have taken money out of the equation just to be with the Black & Gold.

Timothy T. Ludwig-US PRESSWIRE

Fans were fearful when free agency began and the New Orleans Saints had to make some last minute moves to get underneath the required salary cap to begin the process of bringing in new talent, mainly on defense.

The Saints lost tackle Jermon Bushrod to the Chicago Bears and also lost out on signing linebacker Paul Kruger to the Cleveland Browns because both teams had bigger pockets. Other free agents that could have benefited the Saints were quickly snatched up around the NFL gaining big pay day's for the coveted players.

When cornerback Keenan Lewis visited the Saints, it was unclear what would happen. In the end the highly ranked and highly sought after Lewis decided to sign with the Saints.

Lewis stated that even though he was offered more money by other teams he chose to come back to his hometown to play football. He had garnered interest from the San Diego Chargers, Philadelphia Eagles, Tennessee Titans, and Oakland Raiders.

Linebacker Victor Butler visited the Saints as well but didn't sign as quickly. He had previously visited the Pittsburgh Steelers and also looked at the Cleveland Browns and Eagles after the Saints. Ultimately Butler signed a two-year deal with the Saints on Thursday. He later admitted he was offered more money by other teams but decided on coming to New Orleans, citing the opportunity to reunite with Rob Ryan as well as the overall good vibes he got from the Saints staff and the fans.

Hopefully the Saints can parlay these good feelings and positive vibes into signing other free agents they are currently wooing, such as cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha who is still deciding between the Saints and the San Francisco 49ers.