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Top 5 offseason moves Saints must make to get back on track!

 
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whodatworm23


Joined: 23 Dec 2006
Posts: 3160
Location: Nawlins
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 3:43 am    Post subject: Top 5 offseason moves Saints must make to get back on track! Reply with quote

Hello fellow WHODATS,

I know it’s early in the season but after a disappointing 0-4 start I thought it would be cool to throw a few opinions out there to see how most of us are feeling at the moment about the current state of the franchise, see what the majority of us feel is wrong and how we each as a fan would fix it if we had the opportunity.

So here we go…

#1 Offseason move:
Cut the dead weight that is dragging this franchise down!


Jon Vilma
I as a Saints fan will forever be grateful for what Vilma has meant to this franchise. He was one of the major reasons we were able to experience a super bowl championship and that will never be forgotten. Having said that, it’s time to part ways as a franchise for a couple reasons.

Vilma is at the end of his career due to his inability to stay healthy.
When you combine Vilma’s contract/production/health I’m actually amazed he’s currently still on the roster. Obviously the team likely does not want to hang him out to dry with the current situation going on and that is a respect Vilma has earned from this organization. Still, the bottom line is that Vilma is an aging player with chronic knee problems and a decent sized cap number.

Younger rising players at the linebacker position.
Curtis Lofton is the leader of this defense now. He’s a tackling machine and while David Hawthorne is off to a sluggish start I do believe this will be a great tandem going forward under Spags. Now I know some will say, “Play Vilma on the weak side”. As long as Vilma is on this team you prevent Lofton from truly establishing himself as the unquestioned leader of the defense. Besides, the Saints don’t need a converting injury prone linebacker with minimal tread left on the tire in that spot. They need youth, speed and athletic ability there.

As long as Vilma is a New Orleans Saints, we as a franchise will not move on from Bounty gate!
This is sad but true. It’s human nature, regardless if the man is guilty or not Jon Vilma is the face of this scandal and always will be. You guys see what kinda pressure and distraction this team is going through and how they are responding to it on the field. We cannot afford to continue this going into next season, we need to rid ourselves of this whole thing once and for all and by releasing Jon Vilma we would be taking a step in that direction.


Will Smith
Here is a player that (in my opinion) has been robbing this franchise blind over the last 3 years. While Smith was a disruptive force early on in his career he has simply not lived up to the big extension awarded him a few years back. His conditioning is a constant issue; he’s been suspended from games over the last couple seasons and simply does not have any burst anymore.

So to recap… bad contract/out of shape/no burst, I don’t care what team you are if that’s your starting right defensive end then your gonna have problems in today’s NFL!


Sedrick Ellis
At least Will Smith was once a productive player. Big Sed is just plain simply a bust! Its borderline embarrassing watching Ellis week in/week out get blown off the line of scrimmage 3-5 yards every play. Maybe it’s not his fault, maybe its scheme or whatever but the one thing that is clear is that Big Sed’s time in the Big Easy is up.


Scott Shanle
If I even have to explain this one… then you are obviously NOT a Saints fan!




#2 Offseason move:
Do not wait, do not procrastinate… Sign Jimmy Graham long term.

Outside of Drew Brees, Jimmy Graham is the New Orleans Saints 1st bon-a-fide NFL superstar that I can remember and we need to treat him like it. Do not pinch pennies and low ball arguably your biggest playmaker and go to guy when the market has already been set for his deal. Furthermore, do not make this man continue to play out his rookie contract that he has clearly outplayed. Reward this man now for his growth, work ethic and production on the field and buy doing so you will reward your fan base by giving them the comfort of knowing that we won’t have to agonize over his contract status next year like we did with the Brees situation.




#3 Offseason move:
Be aggressive in free agency… sign Cliff Avril!

I understand that this draft is loaded with pass rushers but guess what… one isn’t enough for this team. Lions DE Cliff Avril is currently playing under the franchise tag this season after being unable to come to terms on a long term contract with Detroit last offseason. A closer look at the Lions upcoming player contract situations and one would believe that Detroit will allow Avril to depart for greener pastures next offseason and here are a few…

1.Avril will demand top dollar and for a premium pass rusher that’s gonn a be steep.
The Lions are looking at an offseason where they would like to extend the contracts of players such as QB Matt Stafford, FS Louis Delmas and LB DeAndre Levy a year after giving superstar WR Calvin Johnson a mega contract. The Lions will not have much cap space and will have to be very selective about who to keep and for how much. The 800 lb gorilla in the room is also the impending free agency status of DT Ndamukong Suh in a couple years as well. This is not unlike the position the Saints found themselves in this past offseason with the Brees/Colston/Nicks contract combined with the looming Jimmy Graham deal. The Saints let the best left guard in football walk out the door because you just simply can’t keep’em all and I think the Lions are about to learn that.

2. Willie young (Avril’s backup) is also a young rising player who is restricted in 2013 and would come at a much lower cap number than Avril.
If you get a chance to watch the Lions play this year, keep an eye on #79. Willie Young is an exciting pass rusher to watch. He has tons of potential and will come relatively cheaper than retaining Avril for the Lions. Young is off to a pretty good start this season and the better he plays the more expendable Cliff Avril becomes.

3. Cliff Avril is off to a slow start this season.
While we talked about Avril’s backup Willie Young being off to a great start, it needs to be pointed out that Avril himself is struggling. Most of it is due to injury but it sure isn’t doing him any favors in the eye’s of Lions brass either and if Detroit is looking to make the hard choice, Avril’s production thus far this season likely will make it a tad easier. Although do not fool yourself WHODAT NATION, this is still one of the premier young defensive pass rushers in this league and his signing would have a tremendous affect on the future outlook of our defense for years to come.




#4 Offseason move:
Draft Purdue university defensive tackle Kawann Short in round 1 of the 2013 NFL draft and then do what is necessary to trade up and acquire a 2nd round selection on day two.

First let me start off by saying that for one I do not see the Saints neither picking in the top 10 nor making the playoffs in 2013 and secondly, pass rushers come in all different shapes and sizes.

Purdue’s Kawann Short is a player that isn’t getting a lot of publicity right now mainly due to the fact that he’s on a bad team but NFL scouts know all about this kid. At 6’3” 315 lbs, Short has Warren Sapp type of potential as an interior pass rusher. He possesses an extremely thick and powerful lower body (over 600lb squat) and one of the most explosive first steps I’ve seen in a defensive tackle in years. For a man his size, Short possesses unreal athleticism with uncanny hand eye coordination. Short put those abilities on display in Purdue’s season opener against Eastern Kentucky by blocking two field goal attempts (1 extra point, one field goal attempt) and if you think that was a fluke or based on weak competition just know that that brings his career blocked kick total to 6 (2 extra points and 4 field goals).

Now I know what you’re thinking… “We need a pass rusher not a special team’s player”!

I understand that, I was simply painting a picture of this kid’s athletic ability. As far as production on the field defensively since his sophomore season in 2010 Short has averaged 6 sacks despite facing constant double teams (see the pic) but that does not tell the whole story, stats never do. Short has been extremely disruptive during his time in Purdue outside his sack totals. He is constantly pressuring the opposing quarterback and moving him off the spot and that’s a major part of his game that doesn’t show up on a stat sheet. Short isn’t only a pass rusher neither, he’s also a tremendous run defender to boot. Through 3 games this season Short has already compiled a total of 9 tackles, 7 for loss, 4 sacks and 1 forced fumble. How’s that for production!

Now some might say… “O’ he’s a UT in a Tampa 2”.

I say, Short has the size, strength and burst to excel in ANY defensive scheme. He is the type of rare athlete that it just simply doesn’t matter. Shorts physical abilities combined with his tremendous work ethic and motor is what pro-bowlers are made of.

Wondering… what about Akeem Hicks?

Spags will be the first to tell anyone that on his defensive line there are 8 starters. He rotates frequently on the D-line and while I feel Hicks has tremendous potential, I feel he’s best suited as the third tackle in the rotation due to how raw he is. Short on the other hand is a readymade penetrating disruptive force that would take over as a starting defensive tackle next to Bunkley and give this team a scary good inside/outside pass rushing duo between him and Avril (see offseason move #3). In time Hicks will take over for Bunkley and provide the Saints with the NFL’s most athletic interior pass rushing duo in the league.

Just the way Spags likes it!

Now as far as the move to trade up into the 2nd round. I just feel this team lacks pass rushers so much and it is such a big part of what Spagnuolo wants to do defensively that we need to take advantage of the depth of this year’s crop of outside edge rushers and move our 3rd rounder and a player/future draft pick to secure one of the ones who fall out of the top round.

Players such as…
Damontre Moore Texas A&M
Alex Okafor Texas
Corey Lemonier Auburn
Michael Buchanan Illinois
Kareem Martin North Carolina
Devin Taylor South Carolina
Dion Jordan Oregon
James Gayle Virginia Tech

Can all be there for the taking in round 2 and while the additions of former Boilermakers Cliff Avril & Kawann Short combined with the growth and progression of Cameron Jordan, Junior Gallette, Akeem Hicks, Martez Wilson, Tyrunn Walker, Braylon Broughton under Spagnuolo and hopefully the healthy return of Greg Romeus will go a long way in getting us to where we wanna be. I just feel the more the merrier and we should use the depth of this class to our advantage.




#5 Offseason move:
Put the bounty scandal, Rodger Godell and that what was the 2012 NFL season as a whole behind you and get back to business as usual.

What’s the old saying… “What’s done is done”.

Well, at some point this season will be over (hell some think it already is) and when that happens we as a franchise and fan base have to move on. Here’s another old saying for ya, “no point cryin over spilled milk”. We can bit%h and moan till the cows come home… nobody cares! The NFL as a whole could care less about what we think about the way this whole situation was handled. As long as the ratings are up (and they are) and the owner’s pockets are overflowing with cash they will pat Ol’ Rodger on the back at the end of this season and say… GREAT JOB!

That’s it… Until the day comes when the average fan as a whole begins to boycott games, turn off the tube and refuse to purchase NFL merchandise this is how it’s going to be.

My girlfriend has a saying… “it is what it is” and that couldn’t be truer in any other situation than this one. So, let’s get all our griping and complaining out now because we need to start the 2013 season with a renewed vigor and a clear mindset. We need to refuse to allow this negativity to continue to follow us around. It’s up to us as a franchise and as a fan base to end this story once and for all and show the NFL world that the WHODAT NATION will never be broken.

As another one of my late grandpa’s favorite sayings goes… “Don’t give’em the FN satisfaction”!!!



WHODAT!!!
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Lombardi Gras


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well thought out post. I am not sure we could get Avril on the cheap, but I would like the aggressiveness: our window is closing.

I'll look into Mr. Purdue more, since you've portrayed him as such a force (not saying he isn't, I just haven't watched Purdue...).

I think that would be a solid draft. I don't know what we would have to give up to get into the second round, but if this class is stacked with pass rushers, I don't care.

I need to do more research on this class so far. I only have watched a couple of games this year and they have mostly been LSU/offensive blowouts Laughing
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whodatworm23


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avril won't come cheap but after shedding our dead weight this offseason
Vilma, Smith, Ellis, Shanle, Hearing, Henderson and maybe even Bushrod
we should have the space to get aggressive for that permier pass rusher.

As far as Kawann Short... everyones got their own opinion but once you start watching him play you'll see what im talking about. He's the kinda player that really stands out on the field.

The pass rushing depth is so deep this season landing a 2nd rounder is a must! I'm thinking our 3rd, 5th & Chris Ivory could land us somewhere in the middle of round two to a team looking for quality RB depth.
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SaintsBeast


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, you guys know what's funny? I used to live down the street in Roanoke Rapids from Kareem... And this guy should be a first round pick, honestly. It's like, when i lived there, i was about 10, and he was about 13. But he was that kid that made football no fun to play in our neighborhood, because whichever team he was on automatically won. Even now, we still talk every once in a while. He's a great guy, but he's one HELL of a football player. I seriously pray we pick him.
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Martez Wilson, DE: 1 Sack, 6 Tackles, 1 FF, 1 Punt Block
Will Smith, DE: 2 Sacks, 22 Tackles, 0 FF
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whodatworm23


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SaintsBeast wrote:
Hey, you guys know what's funny? I used to live down the street in Roanoke Rapids from Kareem... And this guy should be a first round pick, honestly. It's like, when i lived there, i was about 10, and he was about 13. But he was that kid that made football no fun to play in our neighborhood, because whichever team he was on automatically won. Even now, we still talk every once in a while. He's a great guy, but he's one HELL of a football player. I seriously pray we pick him.


Kareem Martin is high on my sleeper list. He has 1st round potential but I doubt he will be selected that high simply because of the overall depth of pass rushers in this draft. His production will likley take a dip this season at UNC mainly due to the fact that Quienton Coples is no longer on the oppsite side of him and there seems to be alot of turmoil in Chappel Hill with that coaching staff.

However, guys like Martin is exactly the reason I feel we need to make a move to get up into round two. In this draft we need to come away with two pass rushers, 1 inside & 1 outside.

A defensive front rotation of...

DE - Jordan, Martin, Broughton
NT- Bunkley, Hicks
DT - Short, Johnson, Walker
DE - Avril, Galette, Wilson

Would be a major upgrade in the pressure dept.
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tylerdouglass


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd be OK with multiple losing seasons after Brees is gone if we could get another Super Bowl win while he's here. I may be alone in this, but I think we should do what it takes to put this team in a good spot, even if it means the rebuilding years will suck.

The way I see it, when Brees is gone, this team will suck no matter what. I'd rather really, really suck and get multiple 1st, 2nd, and 3rd overall picks than be stuck in mediocreville and never be able to draft a huge impact player.
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whodatworm23


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tylerdouglass wrote:
I'd be OK with multiple losing seasons after Brees is gone if we could get another Super Bowl win while he's here. I may be alone in this, but I think we should do what it takes to put this team in a good spot, even if it means the rebuilding years will suck.

The way I see it, when Brees is gone, this team will suck no matter what. I'd rather really, really suck and get multiple 1st, 2nd, and 3rd overall picks than be stuck in mediocreville and never be able to draft a huge impact player.


So are you suggesting we trade multiple future draft pick to obtain higher draft seletions this offseason? Or are you thinking trading for proven veterans?

Seems like if yours focused on the now then mabe we trade out of round 1 and aquire more 2nd and 3rd rounders for overall depth and then go after veteran free agents like Dwight freeny.
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tylerdouglass


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

whodatworm23 wrote:
tylerdouglass wrote:
I'd be OK with multiple losing seasons after Brees is gone if we could get another Super Bowl win while he's here. I may be alone in this, but I think we should do what it takes to put this team in a good spot, even if it means the rebuilding years will suck.

The way I see it, when Brees is gone, this team will suck no matter what. I'd rather really, really suck and get multiple 1st, 2nd, and 3rd overall picks than be stuck in mediocreville and never be able to draft a huge impact player.


So are you suggesting we trade multiple future draft pick to obtain higher draft seletions this offseason? Or are you thinking trading for proven veterans?

Seems like if yours focused on the now then mabe we trade out of round 1 and aquire more 2nd and 3rd rounders for overall depth and then go after veteran free agents like Dwight freeny.


Either or. Bring in vets, trade future picks for current picks. The Saints need to get in a "win now" mode even if that means we lose later because of it.

QBs like Brees don't come around every year, when he's on the roster, you've gotta get him all the help you can.
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whodatworm23


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
QBs like Brees don't come around every year, when he's on the roster, you've gotta get him all the help you can.


I agree with you.

Brees is 33 years old (I think), usually QB's prime years are between the age of 30-34 and they typically start taking a steep dive after 34. Now im not saying Brees will... It's just the norm.

I do believe the Saints will have the win now mind set this offseason and I believe they will get very creative with the cap and target veteran free agents looking to make a 2 year run at the superbowl. I feel we will see alot of turnover on this team on the defensive side of the foot ball through free agency but at the same time I feel some players will get a pass on this season based on the situation they were dealt.

I would NOT be shocked if the team focused their attention in FA on defense and drafted an offensive player in round 1 this year. I honestly feel Sean Payton could very well look to get more explosive on offense through the draft and then continue to build defensivly through free agency.

It would not susprise me one bit to see a player like...

USC WR Robert Woods
UB WR Terrence Williams
UT WR Justin Hunter
AM OT Jake Matthews
UA OL Barrett Jones

End up being the pick. Now I ask you... do you at any point in this draft's 1st round consider a QB if ones there? Not saying Brees going anywhere anytime soon but do we take advantage of this fluke down year with him to take his eventual successor? Think
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Saint-Anger_13


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 11:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

as far as FAs how about Phillip Merling whos currently at 1.26mil for the year? or Connor Barwin would not be bad. cheaper than Avril. Also I would say go LB/DE in the draft. then Mid rounds focus on OL.
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whodatworm23


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 12:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Saint-Anger_13 wrote:
as far as FAs how about Phillip Merling whos currently at 1.26mil for the year? or Connor Barwin would not be bad. cheaper than Avril. Also I would say go LB/DE in the draft. then Mid rounds focus on OL.


I love Barwin's game and I do think he will be the odd man out in Houston this season much like Avril in Detroit but he's had good production as a 34 outside rusher and will likley be courted by those teams running the 34.

Spags would likley have to really sell Barwin on his fit in this scheme to get the man to play with his hand in the dirt again, but at the end of the day... Money talks!

As for Merlin... Im not a fan.
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