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CSC Roundtable: Recapping NFL/Saints first day of Free Agency

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Who won? You decide! Epic debate battles of CSC!

NFL: NFC Wild Card-Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints Derick Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Well, let’s start with division rivals. Specifically, potential quarterbacks.

Rev: Bridgewater to Carolina and Brady to Tampa (If both rumors pan out to be true). How does this impact the season (and future?). I love the idea of 2 head to heads with Brees vs Brady. Could go well to helping his long term legacy if he’s able to win those games.

Bell: I’m very intrigued by the proposition of Brady vs Brees twice a year. But more importantly, the competition of the NFC South just went up. With the addition of Joe Brady to Carolina and possibility of Tom Brady with the Bucs’ receiving weapons, look for a more competitive division in 2020.

Dunz: My point is the same. I don’t want competition. I want a cakewalk. I want the NFC South on a silver platter like Brady had in the AFC East for a decade.

Ross: I love seeing Bridgewater and potentially Brady in the division. Rooting against Bridgewater doesn’t bother me, I’m just glad he got paid. Now the Saints maintain familiarity with that starting QB under a first-year HC and a first-time OC that again, the Saints are familiar with. As for Brady, inject Brees/Brady matchups directly into my veins. I hope to see that happen. Matt Ryan maintains his crown as the fourth-best QB in the division.

Nate: As someone who watches a lot of Big Ten basketball— having a tough, competitive in-conference (or in this case division) can either make you or break you--- almost literally— wearing you down over the course of the season. That said— isn’t it incredible to live in a world where we may see Drew Brees and Tom Brady going head to head?

Dunz: Matt Ryan would be the fourth-best quarterback in the division

Rev: Wasn’t he already?

collective laughing

Skiver: Bruce Arians took Carson Palmer to an NFC Championship Game in 2015, lest we forget. This is familiar territory for him — Working with veterans and working his game around them. If Brady does in fact go to Tampa it could be a dangerous pairing.

Next up, anyone worried by the lack of big moves by the Saints so far?

Ross: Not at all. They tend to sit back while these big, overpaid contracts get done. Doesn’t feel unusual.

Dunz: Naw. Saints don’t really have a lot of cap space anyway. I’m not expecting any big moves until we see some of the expected releases.

Nate: Business as usual for the Saints not making any early splashes. Lots of big-time names on the board still that the Saints could favor themselves with. Add that to draft capitol (and not overpaying) and I’m cool.

Rev: What is this cap space you speak of?

Ross: Space for hats I think?

Dunz: Cap space is only a myth because of Mickey’s ability to restructure, release, use void years, etc.

Rev: So you agree, it is a myth. lol

Skiv: It does feel like the Saints have some needs that will be hard to address in the draft. Early linebackers rarely make a difference, as do early DBs.

Dunz: We haven’t had any restructures, releases, and don’t know about void years on Brees’s deal yet.

Rev: I still feel like Jackrabbit is a big target there. No dead money thanks to the Giants carrying it. Could be an easy cut/re-sign or extention or something

Skiver: 0% chance Jackrabbit doesn’t see his contract change in some way. They’ll definitely wanna do something with that.

Biggest FA left on the board that you want the Saints to make a play for

Rev: Big name for me is still Chris Harris, Jr. Talked to some people close to the team in Denver and New Orleans is definitely in play with teams like Oakland. He really wants to play the slot, as well as get a nice paycheck. (Who doesn’t?)

Dunz: Robby Anderson count as a big name?

Rev: Only in Scrabble.

Dunz: If not, Emmanuel Sanders. Any wide receiver. It’s a clear and obvious need for the Saints.

Skiver: Mine is also Harris, but for the sake of being different, I’d like to see Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. He can play the box or the slot, he had a return to form last year, and I think he’s a playmaker.

Rev: Why has no one said Vonn Bell? SAY VONN BELL

Dunz: I’ve got another good answer, though. Andrus Peat.

Ross: I really see that as a possibility at this point. I kinda expected it before hand anyway. Haha

Nate: I think Emmanuel Sanders is one I’ve been watching for this whole off-season. It would also pair up if they want to address a position with the first round pick other than WR (it’s a deep class, so this could be a good move), while still reloading the offense for the season.

Ross: I don’t really have any big name guys that I’m into. Im more interested in low/mid-tier guys. WR Tajae Sharp is one of my favorites. But wouldn’t be mad to see Chris Harris or Emmanuel Sanders if the Saints remain interested there.

Skiver: My rationale is I’d rather add a defensive impact player, as I think offensive (non-QB) players can have more of a Day 1 impact. I like the WR draft this year, so I’m fine with being patient on that.

Rev: So, Jadaveon Clowney?

Brees’ contract seems super team friendly. 2 years, 50M. He got offered more than that by Arizona couple years ago. Makes me think there are guys in house they wanna keep. Who are those players for you?

Ross: Kevin mentioned the offensive line and I think that’s a great point. Communication is there, trust is there. I could see them being part of that. Oh, and Austin Carr.

Skiver: I’m saying this with the utmost earnestness: Peat. I think this offensive line values continuity, and I think Brees does too. At this point I’d be surprised to see him go elsewhere.

Rev: Well as Duke Manyweather pointed out to me many times during the 2020 season, the Saints were far better with Peat at LG than with anyone else there.

Nate: I think we definitely saw one in Onyemata already come off the board. I like the Peat idea too. Keeping him in house would be huge, but you have to think of other guys too like Justin Hardee who’s been so valuable on ST.

Rev: But, they aren’t going to tender Hardee, so isn’t that a smidge worrisome in terms of bringing him back?

Nate: Yeah, I suppose it is. Every indication is that he likes the team and the city, but there’s a lot of guys in the latter half of this draft, and in the FA, that could be nice ST players at minimum. It’ll be interesting to see what happens with his gunner spot.

Ross: I think the Hardee thing is more to do with the price of the Tender. Perhaps they feel they can get him back cheaper than the ~$2.13M the lowest tender is worth?

Skiver: I’m mostly trying to think of players Brees would care about, so guys who compliment him.

Rev: Hey yo Brees, you looking mighty handsome today! Boom, where’s my contract Saints? (I may have changed Skiver’s correct spelling just to throw this dad joke in. get over it)

Skiver: Maybe, MAYBE we see a Kamara extension sooner than later?

Ross: I was wondering about that too. He kind of hinted that something might be happening in his Rapsheet podcast interview. But now that the contract is done for Brees maybe we see that extension for Kamara around the start of “camp” or whatever it will look like this year.

Skiver: The two players I think Brees would care about would be Peat and Kamara, so I think they’re who he has in mind with regards to taking less.