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Draftmageddon 2016: The Drunk Hooker Returns VII

With this week's look at the 2014 and 2015 free agency/trade acquisitions, we're closing our study of the non-draft roster-building for the New Orleans Saints in the Payloo Era.

The Breaux Sheaux is clearly the star of the last two years of FA acquisitions.
The Breaux Sheaux is clearly the star of the last two years of FA acquisitions.
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

This here's your final look at the non-draft acquisitions of the Payloo Era New Orleans Saints, which includes evaluation of the 2014 and 2015 free agent/trade pickups.

For those who may have missed any of the prior episodes, here they are:

Part I - Scouting the Scouts

Part II - 2016 Player Acquisition Dates and the 2006 and 2007 Acquisitions

Part III - The 2008 Non-Draft Acquisitions

Part IV - Inside the Mind of Jeff Ireland

Part V - Recent Big Splash FA Signing History

Part VI - The 2012 and 2013 Non-Draft Acquisitions

And now for your 2014 non-draft acquisitions...


Player/How Acquired

March 13

Signed FA S Jairus Byrd

March 21

Signed FA FB Erik Lorig

April 9

Signed FA CB Champ Bailey

May 12

Signed UDFA WR Brandon Coleman

May 12

Signed UDFA DB Brian Dixon

May 12

Signed UDFA OLB Kasim Edebali

These are the dudes brought in to help in 2015:


Player/How Acquired

January 5

Signed FA RB Tim Hightower

January 15

Signed FA CB Delvin Breaux

March 10

Traded TE Jimmy Graham and 2015 4th Rd  draft pick to Seattle for C Max Unger and 2015 1st Rd draft pick

March 12

Signed FA CB Brandon Browner

March 13

Signed FA RB C.J. Spiller

March 13

Traded WR Kenny Stills to Miami Dolphins for LB Dannell Ellerbe and 2015 3rd round draft pick

April 1

Signed FA CB Kyle Wilson

May 4

Signed UDFA DL Bobby Richardson

May 18

Signed FA K Zach Hocker

June 12

Signed FA DT Kevin Williams

September 6

Claimed LB Michael Mauti off waivers from Minnesota

September 30

Traded DE Akiem Hicks to New England for TE Michael Hoomanawanui

October 21

Signed FA K Kai Forbath

Best of the Best


Good Get

FA CB miracleboy Delvin Breaux is clearly a GOOD GET. Did you know he had back surgery and people told him he'd never walk*, much less run*, or even play football again? He has come back through perseverance and hard work to be an NFL starter for the Saints (2015 stats: 15 starts in 16 games played, with 37 tackles, 8 assists, 3 interceptions, 1 fumble recovery, and 19 pass breakups) with plenty of upside and growth still in the offing. Geaux Breaux!!

C Max Unger came over from Seattle in the Jimmy Graham trade (along with a first round draft pick), and started all 16 games in a season for the first time since 2012.  They wanted an upgrade at center and they definitely got it in Unger, so he's a GOOD GET for the Saints.

FF FA DT Kevin Williams came in on an aging, declining, veteran deal in 2015 and outperformed all expectations, which wasn't difficult considering his GOOD GET low bar.  He made 14 starts in 16 appearances with 18 tackles, 14 assists, 3 pass breakups and 2 forced fumbles.

* These two "facts" about Breaux's recovery may be false.

Meh...He's a JAG

JAG (with potential) UDFA WR Brandon Coleman hung around in 2014 and appeared in all 16 games in 2015, but didn't make a whole lot of the opportunity, notching only 30 catches for 454 yards and 2 TDs. Now that Marques Colston is gone, he needs to step up in 2016 to move up to Good Get.

UDFA LB/DE Kasim Edebali is a pass-rushing JAG (with potential) who made the team in 2014, appearing in 32 games with one start over the last two seasons, because the pass rush is so terrible and the defense is really bad.  He did get 2 sacks in 2014 and 5 in 2015, so potential is there, for sure.

UDFA DE JAG (with potential) Bobby Richardson earned a roster spot in 2015 and then went on to make 11 starts in 15 appearances on a terrible Saints defense, notching 20 tackles and 20 assists along with a half a sack, and interception and a pass breakup. This JAG's arrow is pointing up, but we'll see.

CB Kyle Wilson is a JAG (with potential) on a terrible Saints defense. He played about how you would expect a JAG to do with some decent play in 2015 (3 starts in 15 appearances, providing solid special teams play with 25 tackles, 2 assists, an interception, a fumble recovery, and 4 pass breakups). This earned him another one-year contract with the Saints.

Aging, injured JAG (with potential) RB Tim Hightower made it all the way through the 2015 preseason on the roster but was cut on the eve of the regular season, and then was brought back for depth after U-Pro broke his leg in early November.  He took over the starting job when Mark Ingram went on IR, and was pretty darn productive in the final four games, totaling 456 rushing/receiving yards and 4 TDs. While currently a free agent, he is a fan and team favorite to return in 2016.  He needs to show some staying power to move up to GG status.

JAG LB Michael Mauti played in 16 games with 2 starts in 2015 and blocked an Atlanta Falcons punt, then recovered it for a TD in the first win over the Dirty Birds.  While he's got free drinks for life in New Orleans bars, he may not again reclaim glory like that peak he attained against Atlanta.

JAG TE Michael Hoomanawanui was part of the "quickly get rid of Hicks" trade with New England and gave the Saints JAG-level performance (including a career-high 3 TDs) over the last three quarters of the season that was good enough to earn a new three-year JAG contract with the team in 2016.

FB Erik Lorig came in like a JAG (0 carries in his previous four years as an NFL fullback) on a JAG contract, played like a JAG (6 starts in 10 appearances in 2014 with 3 carries for 4 yards and 9 receptions for 27 yards and a TD), and left like a JAG (didn't play for the Saints in 2015, and is currently a FA). Meh.

UDFA DB Brian Dixon is nothing more than a JAG who made the team (he played in 32 games in 2014-15) because the secondary is bad and the pass rush is terrible.  He also helps on special teams.

JAG FA K Kai Forbath came in to replace the bum K Zach Hocker in 2015, and finished the year, but now has to fight another JAG FA K in Josh Scobee for a job in 2016. YEESH.

I honestly don't know whether to label LB Dannell Ellerbee as a DISAPPOINTING JAG or a DISAPPOINTMENT WITH POTENTIAL. He came over along with a 3rd round pick from the Dolphins for Stills, and only started 4 games in 6 appearances. The 3rd rounder (CB PJ Williams) went on IR and made 0 starts in 0 appearances in 2015, but is that Dannell's fault?  Hell, Ellerbee might even be a JAG WITH POTENTIAL on the Saints terrible defense. But for now, I'll keep him right here, at the bottom of the JAG pile and right above the Disappointments.


FA CB Brandon Browner came in on a big  $$ starting veteran deal in 2015, and then proceeded to DISAPPOINT in almost every way.  I don't feel like it's ALL his fault, because there was certainly misuse in deployment of him based on his skill set, but he certainly didn't rise above it as a "quality-guy Payloo signing" should have, and now he's gone, thankfully.

FA RB C.J. Spiller - see above, up to "ALL his fault." Payloo are still trying to say that he was injured in 2015, or just not used right, and since he hasn't been cut yet, he still has a chance to contribute (not DISAPPOINT) and maybe even excel as the pass-catching running back coveted by Payton. But it's been a looong time since he cruised past the confused Dallas defense in overtime for the win, so we'll just see how all this goes.

S Jairus Byrd has been the epitome of DISAPPOINTMENT since he was signed early in the 2014 Free Agency period to a MEGABUCKS contract in a move that pleasantly surprised most of the Who Dat Nation at the time. He had minor back surgery in May of 2014, and was brought along slowly, then played in only four games before tearing his lateral meniscus and going on IR.  Following surgery, he was then brought along slowly in 2015, not playing until Week 4, but he did make 12 starts in 13 appearances with some statistical impact (37 tackles, 16 assists, 1 interception, 3 pass breakups, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery, and 1 sack), but not nearly enough to validate his contract.

While the Saints brought in aging, declining CB Champ Bailey on an incentive-laden deal with minimum guaranteed money, it was thought by many that he'd be a legit starter (or at least a nickel back) in 2014 opposite Keenan Lewi5. But DISAPPOINTINGly enough, he couldn't even grab a roster spot from Brain Dixon and never made it out of training camp. I know hindsight doesn't mean much, but here's a rich, lulz-worthy RW quote from the time of Champ's release: "Bailey was signed to compete for the No. 2 cornerback job, but now 36, couldn't crack the Saints' loaded defense."

DISAPPOINTING FA K Zach Hocker won the starting job, but then couldn't even last a full season before yielding the floor to JAG FA K Kai Forbath.

Drunk Hooker


Roster Round-Up (March 14-March 20)

Gone: TE Josh Hill visited the Jets.

Signed: LB James Laurinaitis, LB Nathan Stupar

Back in the Fold: S Jamarca Sanford

Bigfoot Sightings: DT Nick Fairley, DE Jason Hatcher

Draft Delusions: DE Kevin Dodd, DE/LB Shaq Lawson, LB Darron Lee, WR Michael Thomas, DE Derrick Alexander, OT Zeth Ramsey, DT David Onyemata. And DL Yannick Ngakoue.

Kat's Mock Sez: CB Mackensie Alexander, followed by DT Austin Johnson.

Christopher Dabe's Mock Sez: WR Laquon Treadwell, followed by DT Austin Johnson.