Free agent moves set up draft (1 Viewer)


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Sep 30, 2004
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By Matt LeBlanc/Houma Courier

It’s April. And with April comes April Fool’s Day.But don’t worry, I’ll hold off on the shenanigans in this week’s column.

April also brings the first month of Major League Baseball. I’ll hold off on that discussion, too, as most teams still have about 160 more games to play on their schedules.

The NBA playoffs are also near, and this season, at least in the Western Conference, those should be just as intriguing as the NCAA Tournament.

One thing that I’m focused on, though, along with countless football fans around the country, is the NFL Draft, which will be held April 26-27.

Honestly, I’ve been thinking about the draft since the NFL’s regular season ended, but attending Nicholls State’s pro-day last week really got me focused on the annual selection meeting.

Before the draft, though, teams do what they can to address their needs in free agency, and many analysts around the country are saying that the New Orleans Saints did one of the best jobs in addressing those needs.

As of today, most teams are done with the flurry of free agent signings, and have positioned themselves for the draft.

So here’s how I think the Saints did. Good. Really good, actually. And it starts with the team’s linebacker position.

The Saints started their offseason by trading for Jonathan Vilma. Damaged goods? Maybe. One of the elite linebackers in the NFL when healthy? Definitely.

Considering the crop of linebackers available this offseason, acquiring Vilma was about as good as it gets.

Full Story - Houma Courier

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