A look at our 2017 and 2018 rosters (1 Viewer)

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A very good question was asked in a different thread regarding how optimistic Saints fans are looking toward 2017. I typically do a yearly analysis of our roster at the beginning of our offseason, but since I had a bit of time and we are quickly approaching the end of our season (unfortunately), I figured that I would get a head start. You can see my previous two season’s analyses in the links below. Realize, that much of this is based upon my opinions and predictions. I do not include players who are NOT currently under contract with the seasons for the following seasons. For instance, Tim Hightower, Willie Snead and Nick Fairley aren’t on the list because they are only on contract for 2016 (using you ignore the cap magic in Fairley’s contract). Also, I have assumed that the Saints have parted ways with Jarius Byrd, who’s contract can’t be justified based on his production and the emergence of Bell at FS. Also, I understand the Kikaha is under contract, but I consider him as a nickel pass rusher, and one with a significant injury risk. I also did not include Swann as a CB, as he is just too injury prone to predict being on this team long term. Analysis to follow…

http://saintsreport.com/forums/f2/look-our-2015-2016-rosters-338899/<O:p</O:p
http://saintsreport.com/forums/f2/look-toward-our-2016-2017-rosters-353242/

<O:p
2017
QB- Brees (38 years old, $19 million)
WR- Snead (24 years old, $615,000)
WR- Thomas (23 years old, $1.6 million)
WR- Ginn (31 years old, $3 million) [/COLOR]
RB- Ingram (27 years old, $5.2 million)
RB- Lasco (25 years old, $558,000) **
RB-
TE- Fleener (28 years old, $7.5 million) * (Cap savings: $4.5 million)
LT- Armstead (25 years old, $11.5 million)
LG- Peat (23 years old, $3.1 million)
C- Unger (30 years old, $7.4 million)
RG- Warford (25 years old, $3.8 million)
RT- Strief (34 years old, $5.1 million)

SDE- Jordan (27 years old, $12 million)
UT- Rankins (23 years old, $2.9 million)
NT- Fairley (29 years old, $3 million)
WDE- Okafor (26 years old, $2 million) **
WOLB- Ellerbe (31 years old, $3.2 million) * (Cap savings: $2.5 million)
MLB- Robertson (29 years old, $1.8 million)
SOLB- Klein (25 years old, $2.8 million)
CB- Breaux (26 years old, $619,000)
CB- Williams (24 years old, $816,000) **
CB-
FS- Bell (22 years old, $902,000)
SS- Vaccaro (26 years old, $5.6 million)

*- Overpaid, potential restructure/cut
**- Would like to improve positional talent
***- Character concerns

<O:p
2018
QB- Brees (39 years old, $6 million)
WR- Thomas (24 years old, $1.4 million)
WR-
WR-
RB- Ingram (28 years old, $6.2 million)
RB- Lasco (26 years old, $664,000) **
RB-
TE- Fleener (29 years old, $8 million) * (Cap savings: $3.2 million)
LT- Armstead (26 years old, $12.5 million)
LG- Peat (24 years old, $3.6 million)
C- Unger (31 years old, $8 million)
RG- Warford (26 years old, $9 million)
RT- Strief (35 years old, $5.1 million) **

SDE- Jordan (28 years old, $14.2 million)
UT- Rankins (24 years old, $3.4 million)
NT- Fairley (30 years old, $7 million)
WDE-
WOLB-
MLB- Robertson (30 years old, $2 million)
SOLB- Klein (26 years old, $5.2 million)
CB- Williams (24 years old, $906,000)
CB- <O:p
CB-
FS- Bell (23 years old, $1 million)
SS-

*- Overpaid, potential restructure/cut
**- Would like to improve positional talent
***- Character concerns
 
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sammymvpknight
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I believe in drafting two seasons in advance. If you have to draft to fill needs the year of, you're in trouble. It typically takes a few years to develop a player, so that should be the expectation and if you get a year-1 contribution, that's icing on the cake.

I'm going to make two assumptions here, because I think that they are very safe assumptions. Snead is a RFA and just about guaranteed to be a Saint come 2017. The Saints would also be smart to sign him long term because he is probably one of the most under-rated WRs in the NFL. I will also assume that Tim Hightower is re-signed, as he is a cheap veteran RB who provides more value to the Saints franchise than the others. So with that said...

PRESSING NEEDS:
RG- Evans has filled in admirably, but how long can he keep this going? He is currently on a one-year deal through 2016, and there is no question that the Saints will be looking to upgrade this position come 2017. Ideally we would have a guy who is being groomed for the position right now, but unfortunately, I don't think that's a case. This is the largest need on the offense by a good margin.

WDE- We have Kruger on contract through 2018, but he is only a serviceable guy at this point. The Saints are lacking in a pass rusher opposite of Cam Jordan. Kikaha was suppose to be that guy, but his knee issues are a legitimate concern going forward and he is also a bit small to serve as a base 4-3 DE.

WOLB- There is some flexibility here, as the Saints have Ellerbe through 2017 and WOLB is probably Robertson's most natural position. But with that said, Ellerbe is an injury waiting to happen and the Saints absolutely can't rely on him going into 2017. At this point the only way I see Robertson being moved away from MLB is if a world-beating free agent or 1st round draft pick comes in, and Robertson is moved to WOLB. But as James Laurinaitis and Stephone Anthony has demonstrated, that is easier said than done.

SOLB- Speaking of Mr. Anthony, my heart says that he needs more time to develop, but my mind is saying that he is closer to being cut than contributing on this defense. Wishful thinking is not going to turn this defense around, and unfortunately, I think that the Saints have to prepare to go along without Anthony apart of the plans. I don't believe that he will be cut in 2017 because the dead money to savings ratio is just too high, but I see him being cut in 2018 a high probability unless something drastic changes. Stupar has played well at SOLB, but he is better served as a nickel player and back-up.

CB- The Saints have lots of "maybes" at CB...with Williams and Swann both having loads of potential, and other young players such as Crawley and Harris being serviceable options. Then there is Sterling Moore, who has played better than I ever dreamed, but is only under contract for 2016. Last offseason the Saints attempted to pay top dollar to Josh Norman, and then they attempted to trade for Joe Haden this season. I don't think that there is any question that in spite of the "potential" of our secondary, that the front office is trying to make a splash at CB. And who can blame them, when PJ Williams and Swann are a major head injury away from hanging up their cleats. I'm not exaggerating, their concussion histories are very concerning.

LESSER NEEDS:
RT- Strief is having one of his best years as a Saint, and I think that it bought him an extra year at starting RT. He is on contract through 2018, and who knows...maybe he has it in him. And no better time to draft a replacement RT to groom for the position before Strief drops off which I can just about guarantee will occur by 2018.

SS- Vaccaro is on contract through 2017 and is a solid starter. I question the Saints ability to bring him back though. Vaccaro is one of those guys who I'd imagine be a superstar on a more supportive defense, and I hope that a similar thought hasn't crossed Vaccaro's mind. The Saints struck gold with bringing in Vonn Bell a year before Byrd's departure, and I think that it would be smart to do the same regarding the SS position. And at worst, you bring someone in who can be utilized in our three safety sets, which is practically a base defense for this defense.

DEPTH:
QB- Brees essentially as a two year contract though it can be marched out longer if Brees plays at a high level. I think that the Saints are in a good position to attempt to groom a young QB without the pressure of him being ready to be a starter before 2019. McNown is also getting up there in age, so a late round QB position wouldn't be a bad selection.

OL- RG is an absolute must, but I believe that we could improve upon our depth at the other OL positions. I would like to keep Peat at LG, but the only way that happens is if we improve our LT depth. Also, Lelito and Kelemete wouldn't be difficult to improve upon at guard/center. We have some practice squad guys who could contribute, but you really could never have too much depth at this position.

DT- I'm a fan of Davison and Rankins, but even if the Saints are able to resign Fairley (easier said than done)...the Saints could still use depth behind Davison at NT. Onyemata is a guy who can serve as depth at UT and SDE, but I do think that we are a bit thin at NT after Jenkins was released.
 

ELLIASJWILLIAMS

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2017

I think Kruger falls into the same category as Fairley as he is on a similar 3 year voidable contract if I'm not mistaken.

Edebali is an option for resign but I think based on the scheme your highest resources should go to Dline. You almost have to add a passrusher via the draft due to Edebali maxing out his potential and Kikaha being an uknown.

- Snead is a definite resign. Is he a RFA or UFA?

- Depending on how the season starts to unfold you likely want to start giving Lasco some snaps to see how his development is going and If he should be considered a key piece moving forward.

-3rd down back is def an Upgrade needed.

- RG Agreed

- CB I think you have to resign Sterling Moore and possibly another bargain FA CB. BW Webb is a RFA but I don't think you tender him. Can't count on Williams(whom I love) so Moore would be good competition for him at the #3 position with the loser taking the 4th CB spot.

- I think you have to restructure both Byrd/Ellerbe. They are good talents and you could do a lot worse. Byrd may not be 2008 Byrd but I think he's similar to the issue everyone had with Will Smith as he aged. Sure you could cut him but who you going to replace him with? If the 3 safety package is to stay in place the 3rd safety spot would look weak without Byrd. Behind Bell if you release him is the guy from the CFL coming off a knee injury and nothing else. At least with Byrd you restructure him, he knows the scheme and there is continuity there. I think both guys want to be here.

The good thing is those holes in 2017 are not that large. It could be worth it to make a FA splash at G/CB and a trade up for a RB/DE in the draft. We should have solid depth/continuity at the CB position next year. I don't know how valuable Harper is from a mentor standpoint but I think he's had an effect on Bell and he's a capable backup for Vaccaro as long as you have a deep secondary.

-Breaux def gets resigned.

- Agree with Swann. Maybe a conversion to S wouldn't hurt. He does have good ball skills but didn't look to take to the zone scheme the way the other DB's did in the pre-season.


Great analysis. I don't think we are far apart on needs/upgrade areas at all. Haven't you been the one to mention budgeting certain positions and not going over them or is that another poster?

edit: Based on the amount of money already invested in the Oline it would seem like a mid-tier talent/Draft pick would be the best place to go. That effectively takes Ziegler out of the running and looking back on the JR Sweezy signing It's likely to be one of those tier guys. Perhaps an under-performing high round pick from another team looking for contract 2.

2nd edit: With Vaccaro playing SAM LB in Nickel packages/Nickel becoming so prevalent and the ability for Stupar to play SAM should Anthony continue to struggle I don't see a reason to upgrade that position.

3rd edit: Davison production +pay is aligned pretty nicely and with Rankins rotating over to NT in nickel situations I don't see a reason to upgrade him either. He's been lauded by quite a few scouts as a very good pickup/starter going forward.
 

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Promote Jordan Williams-Lambert from the PS into that last WR slot. He'll be ready this year.
 

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No Snead? What's his status for next year?
 

ETWhoDat

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What's our cap look like next year?
 

ELLIASJWILLIAMS

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Snead is an ERFA(exclusive rights free agent). Doesnt look he will go anywhere next year. Not sure what a team has to give up to take another team's ERFA.
Good that means for at least 1 more year our WR corps should be cheap as both he and Coleman are RFA and Cooks/Thomas are still on rookie contracts.
 
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Updated with commentary.

I'll be updating this thread as the offseason goes along.
 
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2017

I think Kruger falls into the same category as Fairley as he is on a similar 3 year voidable contract if I'm not mistaken.

Edebali is an option for resign but I think based on the scheme your highest resources should go to Dline. You almost have to add a passrusher via the draft due to Edebali maxing out his potential and Kikaha being an uknown.

- Snead is a definite resign. Is he a RFA or UFA?

- Depending on how the season starts to unfold you likely want to start giving Lasco some snaps to see how his development is going and If he should be considered a key piece moving forward.

-3rd down back is def an Upgrade needed.

- RG Agreed

- CB I think you have to resign Sterling Moore and possibly another bargain FA CB. BW Webb is a RFA but I don't think you tender him. Can't count on Williams(whom I love) so Moore would be good competition for him at the #3 position with the loser taking the 4th CB spot.

- I think you have to restructure both Byrd/Ellerbe. They are good talents and you could do a lot worse. Byrd may not be 2008 Byrd but I think he's similar to the issue everyone had with Will Smith as he aged. Sure you could cut him but who you going to replace him with? If the 3 safety package is to stay in place the 3rd safety spot would look weak without Byrd. Behind Bell if you release him is the guy from the CFL coming off a knee injury and nothing else. At least with Byrd you restructure him, he knows the scheme and there is continuity there. I think both guys want to be here.

The good thing is those holes in 2017 are not that large. It could be worth it to make a FA splash at G/CB and a trade up for a RB/DE in the draft. We should have solid depth/continuity at the CB position next year. I don't know how valuable Harper is from a mentor standpoint but I think he's had an effect on Bell and he's a capable backup for Vaccaro as long as you have a deep secondary.

-Breaux def gets resigned.

- Agree with Swann. Maybe a conversion to S wouldn't hurt. He does have good ball skills but didn't look to take to the zone scheme the way the other DB's did in the pre-season.


Great analysis. I don't think we are far apart on needs/upgrade areas at all. Haven't you been the one to mention budgeting certain positions and not going over them or is that another poster?

edit: Based on the amount of money already invested in the Oline it would seem like a mid-tier talent/Draft pick would be the best place to go. That effectively takes Ziegler out of the running and looking back on the JR Sweezy signing It's likely to be one of those tier guys. Perhaps an under-performing high round pick from another team looking for contract 2.

2nd edit: With Vaccaro playing SAM LB in Nickel packages/Nickel becoming so prevalent and the ability for Stupar to play SAM should Anthony continue to struggle I don't see a reason to upgrade that position.

3rd edit: Davison production +pay is aligned pretty nicely and with Rankins rotating over to NT in nickel situations I don't see a reason to upgrade him either. He's been lauded by quite a few scouts as a very good pickup/starter going forward.
I agree with budgeting by position. I think that it would be insane for the Saints to invest heavily through free agency or a high first round draft pick for a RB or CB.

I don't want this to turn into a pro-con Fornette debate, but the Saints have a formula on offense that works. That formula does NOT include having an all-pro running back. The formula consists of keeping Brees upright so that he can go through his progressions and hit his targets down field. The key to equation has ALWAYS been having a few receivers capable of bringing in contested passes, and an offensive line that protects Brees and can at least intermittently open up a running lane on 3rd-and-2.

Having a nice, shiny CB is something that fundamentally sound defenses with money to spend can afford to do. The Saints aren't that type of defense. The Saints need to get stronger in the trenches so that it can do the simple things, such as stop the run and provide a pass rush. Until that happens, we have absolutely no business giving guys like Jarius Byrd top dollar. The good defenses throughout the NFL are good in spite of how talented their CBs are. Talib misses the Saints game...and the Broncos still give the Saints offense hell. That is how you build a defense.

Regarding our LB situation...think that we need one more sure thing to go along with Robertson. I think that you can get away with two good LBs and another slash type SS, but you can't get away with only one good LB...and that is what we have right now (unless you consider Ellerbe, who is quite frankly unreliable). I don't care if it is a MLB, SOLB, or WOLB...but some sort of play making LB to go along with Robertson is a need. If Ellerbe has proven nothing else...he has proven how much better that this defense can look with a second good LB.
 

ELLIASJWILLIAMS

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I believe in drafting two seasons in advance. If you have to draft to fill needs the year of, you're in trouble. It typically takes a few years to develop a player, so that should be the expectation and if you get a year-1 contribution, that's icing on the cake.

I'm going to make two assumptions here, because I think that they are very safe assumptions. Snead is a RFA and just about guaranteed to be a Saint come 2017. The Saints would also be smart to sign him long term because he is probably one of the most under-rated WRs in the NFL. I will also assume that Tim Hightower is re-signed, as he is a cheap veteran RB who provides more value to the Saints franchise than the others. So with that said...

PRESSING NEEDS:
RG- Evans has filled in admirably, but how long can he keep this going? He is currently on a one-year deal through 2016, and there is no question that the Saints will be looking to upgrade this position come 2017. Ideally we would have a guy who is being groomed for the position right now, but unfortunately, I don't think that's a case. This is the largest need on the offense by a good margin.

WDE- We have Kruger on contract through 2018, but he is only a serviceable guy at this point. The Saints are lacking in a pass rusher opposite of Cam Jordan. Kikaha was suppose to be that guy, but his knee issues are a legitimate concern going forward and he is also a bit small to serve as a base 4-3 DE.

WOLB- There is some flexibility here, as the Saints have Ellerbe through 2017 and WOLB is probably Robertson's most natural position. But with that said, Ellerbe is an injury waiting to happen and the Saints absolutely can't rely on him going into 2017. At this point the only way I see Robertson being moved away from MLB is if a world-beating free agent or 1st round draft pick comes in, and Robertson is moved to WOLB. But as James Laurinaitis and Stephone Anthony has demonstrated, that is easier said than done.

SOLB- Speaking of Mr. Anthony, my heart says that he needs more time to develop, but my mind is saying that he is closer to being cut than contributing on this defense. Wishful thinking is not going to turn this defense around, and unfortunately, I think that the Saints have to prepare to go along without Anthony apart of the plans. I don't believe that he will be cut in 2017 because the dead money to savings ratio is just too high, but I see him being cut in 2018 a high probability unless something drastic changes. Stupar has played well at SOLB, but he is better served as a nickel player and back-up.

CB- The Saints have lots of "maybes" at CB...with Williams and Swann both having loads of potential, and other young players such as Crawley and Harris being serviceable options. Then there is Sterling Moore, who has played better than I ever dreamed, but is only under contract for 2016. Last offseason the Saints attempted to pay top dollar to Josh Norman, and then they attempted to trade for Joe Haden this season. I don't think that there is any question that in spite of the "potential" of our secondary, that the front office is trying to make a splash at CB. And who can blame them, when PJ Williams and Swann are a major head injury away from hanging up their cleats. I'm not exaggerating, their concussion histories are very concerning.

LESSER NEEDS:
RT- Strief is having one of his best years as a Saint, and I think that it bought him an extra year at starting RT. He is on contract through 2018, and who knows...maybe he has it in him. And no better time to draft a replacement RT to groom for the position before Strief drops off which I can just about guarantee will occur by 2018.

SS- Vaccaro is on contract through 2017 and is a solid starter. I question the Saints ability to bring him back though. Vaccaro is one of those guys who I'd imagine be a superstar on a more supportive defense, and I hope that a similar thought hasn't crossed Vaccaro's mind. The Saints struck gold with bringing in Vonn Bell a year before Byrd's departure, and I think that it would be smart to do the same regarding the SS position. And at worst, you bring someone in who can be utilized in our three safety sets, which is practically a base defense for this defense.

DEPTH:
QB- Brees essentially as a two year contract though it can be marched out longer if Brees plays at a high level. I think that the Saints are in a good position to attempt to groom a young QB without the pressure of him being ready to be a starter before 2019. McNown is also getting up there in age, so a late round QB position wouldn't be a bad selection.

OL- RG is an absolute must, but I believe that we could improve upon our depth at the other OL positions. I would like to keep Peat at LG, but the only way that happens is if we improve our LT depth. Also, Lelito and Kelemete wouldn't be difficult to improve upon at guard/center. We have some practice squad guys who could contribute, but you really could never have too much depth at this position.

DT- I'm a fan of Davison and Rankins, but even if the Saints are able to resign Fairley (easier said than done)...the Saints could still use depth behind Davison at NT. Onyemata is a guy who can serve as depth at UT and SDE, but I do think that we are a bit thin at NT after Jenkins was released.
Interesting that you aren't taking into account that teams are playing less and less base defense therefore the need for multiple NT's shrink. Yet I agree that we need a developmental guy there. Same could be said for you having SAM LB as a pressing need when it's pretty much been reduced to nothing with our 3 S package. Would make more sense to continue using whats working by restructuring Byrd and continuing forward with that being your Base D and the usual Base being more of a sub package. Vs making SLB a pressing yet unnecessary need.

I think RT is a hmmm thing. If we felt it was a pressing enough need to draft a guy in the 1st in 2015 then regardless of Striefs uptick in play it still has to be in the same state in 2017 with him now 2 years older.

Regardless other than difference of opinion I agree with majority of it. Like anything else we'll probably differ on unstable/stable areas

Also noticed you missed including the Joker RB position in either spot?


KV has a quote in a recent ESPN article I'll share here that makes a lot of sense and why I think it would be smarter to keep he/Byrd/and bell together. I think the changing and swapping of guys is what got us into this mess in the first place. Walking away from Jenkins/Harper and bringing in a new face in Byrd/losing Greer after those guys had played together for 4 years. It broke the continuity. Walking away from Byrd/moving on from Vaccaro seems like that same situation waiting to happen again.


&#8220;I told y&#8217;all, what&#8217;d I say? &#8216;The best secondaries, the best defenses, they stay together and they play together.&#8217; And that&#8217;s what we&#8217;re growing into.
http://www.espn.com/blog/new-orlean...improved-expects-more-with-delvin-breaux-back

I agree with budgeting by position. I think that it would be insane for the Saints to invest heavily through free agency or a high first round draft pick for a RB or CB.

I don't want this to turn into a pro-con Fornette debate, but the Saints have a formula on offense that works. That formula does NOT include having an all-pro running back. The formula consists of keeping Brees upright so that he can go through his progressions and hit his targets down field. The key to equation has ALWAYS been having a few receivers capable of bringing in contested passes, and an offensive line that protects Brees and can at least intermittently open up a running lane on 3rd-and-2.

Having a nice, shiny CB is something that fundamentally sound defenses with money to spend can afford to do. The Saints aren't that type of defense. The Saints need to get stronger in the trenches so that it can do the simple things, such as stop the run and provide a pass rush. Until that happens, we have absolutely no business giving guys like Jarius Byrd top dollar. The good defenses throughout the NFL are good in spite of how talented their CBs are. Talib misses the Saints game...and the Broncos still give the Saints offense hell. That is how you build a defense.

Regarding our LB situation...think that we need one more sure thing to go along with Robertson. I think that you can get away with two good LBs and another slash type SS, but you can't get away with only one good LB...and that is what we have right now (unless you consider Ellerbe, who is quite frankly unreliable). I don't care if it is a MLB, SOLB, or WOLB...but some sort of play making LB to go along with Robertson is a need. If Ellerbe has proven nothing else...he has proven how much better that this defense can look with a second good LB.

Do you advocate spending money on Jamie Collins and walking away from Ellerbe? I believe in continuity and consistency and also intangibles and while he hasn't been available I would debate really hard on breaking up what appears to be a solid/moderate thing. Is it too early to give up on Anthony? Should we wait till year 3? The defense is performing/has performed rather well with what I'd say is average LB play. Is the upgrade really needed in what is mostly a zone scheme? Do you waste money or a resource at the LB position after discovering that 2 of the 3 FA signings are capable fill in options? Good question and I'm fine with adding a player anywhere in the Front 7 be it Dline or LB.

The CB thing is kind of iffy too. I'm not a fan of these 2nd contract CB's coming out. When you play a lot of zone with man pressure it de-values the CB position to a point. It does however put more emphasis on the Safeties and the Dline and Allen has used a lot of cover 2 this season. Perfect world is that someone like Haden comes free where we aren't over spending or relying on a rookie CB to come in and play #2. Do you resign Moore/Webb and maybe rely on guys having a 2nd year in the scheme or do you follow your first mind in going after another CB since we almost traded for Haden with those guys already on the roster? Another good question.

Agree with the need for fixing the oline/dline. Good teams control the LOS home/away. We are nearly there with the Dline...literally missing a DE but the oline is still aging on one side of the ball from C,RG,OT. You've gotta inject some youth somewhere and you need some athleticism between Unger/Strief.

Agree with RB. Fournette isn't needed resources could go elsewhere but I do think a Joker RB should be high up there considering how average Fleener has been. It's limited our abilty to win matchups like we did when we moved Colston to the Slot, Jimmy outside, and work Sproles/Reggie against LB's. Currently Cooks is the only guy we can do that with now and snead a little bit but we are missing that Size. Especially since it looks like Thomas is purely an outside WR. You almost have to get a joker in there for matchup purposes.

I'll keep my eye on this thread. Appreciate the write up. The addition of Cap Figures/Age greatly helps in evaluations.
 
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Interesting that you aren't taking into account that teams are playing less and less base defense therefore the need for multiple NT's shrink. Yet I agree that we need a developmental guy there. Same could be said for you having SAM LB as a pressing need when it's pretty much been reduced to nothing with our 3 S package. Would make more sense to continue using whats working by restructuring Byrd and continuing forward with that being your Base D and the usual Base being more of a sub package. Vs making SLB a pressing yet unnecessary need.

I think RT is a hmmm thing. If we felt it was a pressing enough need to draft a guy in the 1st in 2015 then regardless of Striefs uptick in play it still has to be in the same state in 2017 with him now 2 years older.

Regardless other than difference of opinion I agree with majority of it. Like anything else we'll probably differ on unstable/stable areas

Also noticed you missed including the Joker RB position in either spot?
I sort of responded to your comment about our based defense in the post above. I think that we could definitely use two LBs, but we absolutely need one more.

What I termed "lesser needs" are still needs...but I consider them to be lesser needs because at least we have a competent starter through 2017. I absolutely think that the Saints should be looking to groom a player to replace Strief, and I don't think that guy is currently on our roster. Peat looks great at LG..so why mess up a good thing.

I don't think that a "Joker" is a need. The Saints have been INCREDIBLY fortunate to have what I believe is three of the ten best receiving backs in NFL history, all while Sean Payton has been here. Reggie Bush, despite not turning into the second coming of Marcus Allen...was a phenomenally talented receiving back. Darren Sproles is STILL an electric receiving back into his mid-30s...one of the best utility guys in NFL history. Pierre Thomas was the best running back at screens that I'd ever seen. I don't believe that you find those guys very often. More often than not...you find a guy like Cadet. I honestly like what we have with Lasco. He can pass block...that is a good start. I honestly don't think that you are going to do much better than Lasco unless you get a guy like McCaffrey who would cost a 1st rounder. Probably not the best investment of resources.

I'd love for our secondary to stick together...but Byrd simply costs to much for what he gives you. The Saints could restructure his deal...but I think that there is just too much history there. He is another year older...has looked completely average at best...and is an injury waiting to happen. I would hope that the Saints would be ready to move on.
 
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I updated the depth charts based on free agent acquisitions. What's not reflected in my depth chart is team depth. I think that we got much deeper at DL and LB positions...guys like Te'o don't show up on my list, but he helps our depth on defense and special teams. I currently have Klein at SLB because Robertson played quite well last year year, and Ellerbe is probably one our three best defenders on our team when healthy (which is almost never...but I have to assume that he will be entering camp). It wouldn't surprise me if the Saints try to phase away from Ellerbe and put Robertson at WLB, and have Klein at WOLB.

The loss of Cooks was substantial, but the acquisition of Ginn was about the best we could hope for. He won't be Cooks...and I'm willing to slot him down as the #3 WR for the 2017 season...but not the 2018 season.
 

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Great stuff Sammy. Thx for the time it took to compile. What jumped out at me right away is how much more we spend on offense than defense
 

Saint Greg

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Brees isn't under contract for 2018.
 

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