What's up Who Dats! Comin' atcha today with a little free agency spin! After a nice, quiet early going in free agency, the 'bargain bin' or low-end 2nd and 3rd tier players are receiving focus from the New Orleans Saints. These are the players who truly fill a roster as sub-package, depth, and special teams athletes, but occasionally are forced into starting roles - think Delvin Breaux in 2015.
Now as all Saints fans are aware, the defense is slowly being overhauled as over-paid, under-performing veterans are being replaced with low-cost younger players (well mostly anyway). The lack of a huge free agent signing on defense is a good thing, use the draft to collect your stars of the future. In the meantime, nab some veteran free agents on cheap deals to get some depth! The Saints have already added a variety of linebackers, so I'm looking at cornerback - specifically Patrick Robinson, yep PRob!
I am certain that there are very few readers at CSC who will agree with this idea. This is where bringing PRob back becomes a paradox; to most it doesn't make any sense, but it honestly makes perfect sense to bring him back now.
I have two primary reasons that support this concept: 1) Robinson finished 2015 rated higher than every CB on the Saints roster, according to Pro Football Focus and 2) Robinson's most encouraging season as a Saint was in 2010 under current Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen (who was defensive backs coach then). A third, more significant reason to sign Robinson is the smaller contract he'd garner at this point. In 2015 he signed on with the Chargers for $2 million for one year and even after a decent season, he'd come in at near the same pay rate or slightly less.
So let's review! We have quality performance, familiarity in coaching, inexpensive cost, and here's another plus: he can settle into the nickel/slot (where he excelled in 2010 and 2015) because the Saints have (arguably) two starting CBs in Breaux and Keenan Lewis.
Now, I've looked over the Saints roster of current CBs not penciled in as starters and we have Damian Swann, Tony Carter, Kyle Wilson, P.J. Williams, Brian and Brandon Dixon. Swann has immense potential but a health concern and the same can be said of Williams, so they may not be major contributors in 2016, though Williams could eventually earn a starting role. The Dixon bros are depth and special teams contributors, not much more there. Carter has bounced around to a few teams since entering the league in 2009. Wilson has followed a very similar NFL career path to Robinson having reached 1st round bust status, then finding a second wind with a new team. Wilson performed pretty good in 2015 as a sub-package player.