DWD's Offseason Forecast (Post Spagnuolo Edition) 3.0 (1 Viewer)

DownWithDisease

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Sean Payton has signed his 5 year extension, and has returned to the Saints with a vengeance. Steve Spagnuolo was fired and the Saints plan to switch to a 3-4 Defense. Who the new DC will be is anyone's guess, but it will be someone who knows the 3-4, and someone Payton can trust.


Current Players Released or not Re-signed

Scott Shanle - Not re-signed following extensive status on INACTIVE list 2nd half of season.

Sedrick Ellis - Under performed and doesn't fit the 3-4.

Jonathan Vilma - Too expensive and not a good fit in the 3-4.

Will Smith - ZERO chance he is a Saint next season.

Will Herring - Released because backups shouldn't make what he will be making.

Devery Henderson - Has all but disappeared; isn't getting any younger.


Re-Structured Contracts

Drew Brees - Will save significant cap room with a re-structured deal.

Jahri Evans - Takes one for the team. Won't effect overall pay.

Brodrick Bunkley - Will be asked to re-structure, or will be released.

Roman Harper - Harper could bounce back in 3-4 scheme. He'll need to fix his high salary though, or he could be released. I think Payton likes him though, and he sticks.


Free-Agency

*The re-structuring of contracts and the release of others will give us a little wiggle room in Free-Agency in my estimation*

OT Jermon Bushrod - I believe we will find a way to keep him a Saint.

QB Chase Daniel - Solid back-up, knows the offense, cheap $$

DT/DE Ricky Jean-Francois -Solid depth guy at 3-4 DE that knows the D.

OLB Victor Butler - Young player with upside and experience playing the 3-4. Flashed some skills when D. Ware was out hurt last season.

TE Jared Cook - Cook has the athleticism and speed to splt the seam of a defense. Adding him would bring another dimension to the offense.

CB Greg Toler - Toler is a solid reserve cornerback who can start occasionally without killing a team. He played well at the end of the 2012 season.

WR Brian Hartline - Good size at 6'2 200lbs, runs great routes, reliable hands, and has enough speed to stretch the defense. Entering his prime, and still has upside.

2013 Draft

*Everyone "assumes" we will get our 2nd rounder back... I think the chances of that are slim-to-none. I do, however, predict we will be awarded 1 compensatory pick, probably in the 4th round.

1.) Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State - I think Sheldon Richardson will rise and be taken ahead of Hankins in April, but I prefer Hankins as a prospect. Hankins is much like Hicks in that he can play either NT or DE in the 3-4. Hankins ceiling is higher than Hicks' however.

3.) Chase Thomas, OLB, Stanford - We all have high hopes for Galette and Tez Wilson moving to OLB in the 3-4, but the fact is, it will be brand new to both of them. We need players that know the scheme and how to play it. Thomas is a good one.

4.) Phillip Thomas, S, Fresno St. - A coverage safety will real ball-skills! the Saints need one badly, and even though he may not start immediately, Thomas could be a steal in this spot.

4.) (compensatory) Kwame Geathers, NT, Georgia - That's right, another NT. With Hankins ability to play either DT or DE in the 3-4 (and the fact he's a rookie) it's always good to have insurance and depth at a key spot. Geathers is a pure NT.

5.) Marcus Davis, WR, VaTech - Big explosive WR that has the speed to burn defenses long. Still a pretty raw and unfinished product though.

7.) Tanner Hawkinson, OT, Kansas - Developmental OT prospect with some nice tools and potential.

2013 Depth Chart

QB – Drew Brees, Chase Daniel
RB – Mark Ingram, Darren Sproles, Pierre Thomas, Chris Ivory
FB – Jed Collins
TE – Jimmy Graham, Jared Cook, David Thomas
WR – Marques Colston, Lance Moore, Brian Hartline, Joseph Morgan, Nick Toon, M. Davis
LT – Jermon Bushrod, Will Robinson
LG – Ben Grubbs, Eric Olsen
C – Brian De La Puente, Eric Olsen
RG – Jahri Evans, Ricky Henry
RT – Zach Streif, Charles Brown, Marcel Jones
---------------------------------------------------------------

DE – Akiem Hicks, Tom Johnson, Tyrunn Walker
NT – Jonathan Hankins, Kwame Geathers, Broderick Bunkley
DE – Cam Jordan, Ricky Jean-Francois
ROLB – Junior Galette, Martez Wilson, Braylon Broughton
ILB – David Hawthorne, Chris Chamberlain
MLB – Curtis Lofton, Ramon Humber
LOLB – Chase Thomas, Victor Butler, Braylon Broughton
SS – Roman Harper, Rafael Bush, Jericho Nelson
FS – Malcolm Jenkins, Isa Quddus, Phillip Thomas
CB – Jabari Greer, Patrick Robinson, Greg Toler, Elbert Mack, Cory White
 

billinms

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How high did you jump when you got the news about Spags?
 

Euphonetiks

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Bunkley will not be released this year. His 2013 base salary is fully guaranteed and would have his $4.5M signing bonus accelerated, so it would count $6.4M against the cap to cut him and only $4.6M to keep him.

He could restructure to bring his $3.7M base salary down, but the Saints should only do that if they still see him in their future plans. Saints will only take a $2.7M cap hit next season if they cut him, but if he re-structures we may have to add some to his guaranteed money and will take a cap hit of at least $4.95M to cut him next season if he restructures (to $700k this season w/ $3M signing bonus for a $2.25M cap savings this year).
 
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DownWithDisease

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Upon reading Elias's post about the 3-4 I'm convinced Martez will be the SILB in the new scheme.
I could definitely see that as well... but who would then be the odd man out? I don't see Lofton or Hawthorne being well suited to play OLB in the 3-4.

I was very relieved when I heard the news about Steve Spagnuolo... I knew that Payton was smart enough to see what needed to be done.
 

SAINT__STEVEN

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I don't see any way we will bring in Jared Cook. He is a great athlete, but simply can not block and we don't need another TE to split out, those routes belong to JG, Colston and Lance--maybe even Toon. We don't have the need or the $ it will take-
 

DaveXA

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Drew just signed his contract last year, I don't see him restructuring so soon.
 

CaliSaint4Life

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I dislike your draft. A few questions for you:
- Why invest so much into the NT position. You don't pay a guy like Bunkley as much as we are giving him then draft a NT in the first and then again in the 4th. Hankins is strictly a run player and offers no pass rush, why would you want him playing DE?
- Is this for a two-gap or a one-gap 3-4?
- I like the Cook pick-up in FA. Jean-Francois also, since he's played DT and DE in a 3-4 (one gap).
- Chase Thomas is a good football player, and just seems to find a way to make plays, but he's a bit stiff. Not sure that will translate in the NFL. He's just not that explosive of a player, but he plays his tail off every play.
 

Saint_Ward

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Two points.

Guys who signed a new contract or extension last year can't have their contract touched for at least one year. So, I think that means Drew, Bunkley, etc can not be restructured.

The Dolphins will not like Hartline walk. He was their only receiver. They are adding another receiver to add to him. He's going nowhere.
 
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DownWithDisease

DownWithDisease

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Two points.

Guys who signed a new contract or extension last year can't have their contract touched for at least one year. So, I think that means Drew, Bunkley, etc can not be restructured..
Then why didn't Brees mention that when a reporter asked him point-blank if he'd be willing to re-structure? He simply said "we'll see". Also, didn't Carl Nicks and Vincent Jackson already re-structure the deals they just signed with Tampa?
 
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DownWithDisease

DownWithDisease

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I dislike your draft. A few questions for you:
- Why invest so much into the NT position. You don't pay a guy like Bunkley as much as we are giving him then draft a NT in the first and then again in the 4th. Hankins is strictly a run player and offers no pass rush, why would you want him playing DE?
- Is this for a two-gap or a one-gap 3-4?
.
I think a 1 gap suits us better, but I don't think we have a real NT on our roster at this point. I like Hicks at DE better in a 3-4. I also think you're selling Hankins short. He is a very disruptive NT, and although his stats don't show it, he's athletic for a big dude and pressures the QB much more than he's given credit for.
 

ETWhoDat

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I hate to burst everyone's bubble but I really really doubt that Will Smith wont be here next season. Idk why. I hope that I am pleasantly surprised though.
 

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