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Can the Saints Afford Marques Colston in 2016?

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The Saints are as usual up against the cap. Marques Colston is a fan favorite but can the Saints afford to keep him next season.

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Marques Colston has been the epitome of what the Saints look for in a player both for character and a locker room presence. Drafted in the 7th round with the 252nd pick, just 4 spots from the end of the draft the Hofstra WR has had an amazing career here in New Orleans. But is it time for the Saints to move on and possibly is it time for Colston to retire?

Lets review what Colston has done here and debate his future. Marques had the most yards/ touchdowns of any receiver in his 1st 2 seasons. In 2006 he had 70 receptions for 1038 yards and 8 touchdowns. He also tied for 2nd for OROY. In 2007 he topped that with 98 receptions for 1202 yards and 11 TDs. He missed 4 games in 2008 with a shoulder injury but still managed 47 receptions for 760 yards and 5 TDs. Constantly one of Drew Brees' favorite targets, Colston in our SB run of 2009 had 70 receptions for 1074 yards and 9 TDs. How has Colston never made a pro bowl?

2010: 84 R, 1023 yds, 7 TDs

2011: 80 R, 1143 yds. 8 TDs In 2011 Colston only missed 2 games after breaking his collar bone.

2012: SPL (Sean Payton Less) 83 R 1154 yds 10 TDs In this season he surpassed Joe Horn's TD record (52) and tied Deuce McAllister's (55). It was reported that he was suffering from the dreaded Plantar Fasciitis in September of this season.

2013: 75 R 943 yds 5 TDs Colston became the Saints' all-time leader in pass receptions when he caught a second quarter touchdown pass for the 533rd catch (and 59th touchdown) of his career.  In the Saints' tenth game of the season, a 23-20 home win against San Francisco, Colston passed Eric Martin to become the all-time franchise leader in receiving yards and yards from scrimmage. Yet here is where the decline appears to have begun.

2014: 59 R 902 yds 5 TDs

2015: 45 R 520 yds 4 TDs. The Saints allowed many Veteran days during practice in the 2015 season. In my opinion the decline was very much in evidence during the 2015 season yet he still made some key catches in games at times. Marques' contract was also restructured in 2015 to created much needed cap space. He missed the last 2 games with a chest injury. Shoulder injury, broken collar bone, plantar fasciitis, and a chest injury. Time is taking it's due from Marques as it appears to do for all of us.

So back to the question. Can the Saints afford to keep him next season? Colston's cap hit is 5.9 mil with 2.7 mil in dead money if cut. The cap saving would be 3.2 mil. Is his veteran leadership enough for the Saints to keep him? Always ready to help the younger WRs it may be time for Colston to take on a new roll. Should he retire a Saint. Should the team cut him and let him test the market? I'm glad I don't have to make this decision but if I did, I'd cut him and possibly offer him a position with the WR coaching staff.  So what is your opinion? Vote in the poll below and discuss in the comments.