New Orleans Saints fans had quite the shock on Monday morning when they woke up to the Nick Underhill report of the team shopping cornerback Delvin Breaux. Since then, a ton of thoughts and theories have emerged on what his future would hold. Through our Twitter handle, we ran a poll asking the masses whether or not trading Breaux would be a ‘smart move’ by the front office.
Would trading Delvin Breaux be a smart move by the #Saints?— Canal St. Chronicles (@SaintsCSC) August 14, 2017
This is clearly a sore spot for some fans, who say that he’s needed according to the final results, so let’s make sense of this.
The ‘growing frustration’ the Saints have with injuries from their players didn’t just happen overnight. They’ve had some major whiffs and a bad track history when it comes to this front. Most recently, Dannell Ellerbe fell victim to being released because of his lack of availability. Jairus Byrd, although being able to go the distance in 2016, was just underwhelming for a once heralded All-Pro player. His price tag didn’t make sense, and there was no one that was going to take on his contract. Oh by the way, Byrd doesn’t have a job right now, which is an entirely different story.
Breaux’s recent injury history is cause for concern, especially after his proclamation that he was feeling 200 percent in May. While believing in himself is half the battle, another team could see the potential there if he can get past the stroke of bad luck on the injury front. In turn, if a team were to see that, then a good trade value could be established. But, that’s a real stretch at this point.
Keeping Breaux is relatively cheap, commanding just a $615,000 salary in 2017. Due to his limited experience, he’ll qualify as a restricted free agent in 2018. Naturally, this means a potential top-tier cornerback (assuming he would regain that status), could come in at a favorable price tag. There wouldn’t be a need to lock him up long-term, and by the time said deal would need to be visited, Breaux would be approaching 30. So, in a sense the Saints front office could get what they need from Breaux and that’d be a wrap.
There’s a growing belief that Sean Payton could be using this as a motivation tactic, similar to what he did with wide receiver Brandon Coleman. The compensation you’ll receive at best is going to be a 5th Round pick (and maybe that’s unrealistic), and for a team that’s looking to win now, does it better suit them to ship off Breaux for a player who doesn’t have the best chance to make the roster in 2018? This isn’t Malcolm Butler we’re talking about, so unless you package Breaux and a pick of your own to grab another player, it might not produce a favorable trade option for the Saints.
The Saints will shop Breaux and gauge the interest, but if he’s actually hurt and unable to be traded because of it, look for the team to try and reach and injury settlement and then release him if Mickey Loomis and company is that disgruntled. The more we hear about this whole situation, the more it feels like Breaux won’t suit up for the 2017 Saints.
The cornerback depth may have us feeling a bit better for Dennis Allen’s defense, but for the injuries to be so problematic in a secondary that simply has to be better this season gives us a very unsettling feeling.