Possibility of getting an elite defensive player in FA? (1 Viewer)

Whodat GT

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I was reading the thread about our cap situation, and I was shocked at seeing that three of the four top salaries belong to Harper, Vilma and Smith. It's no news that they aren't worth that much, however, it got me thinking:

If other teams have excellent players that get paid in that range (around 10 mil a year), is it possible to think that by cutting these three or restructuring their contracts, we could land an elite prospect through FA (I'm thinking Revis as a primary choice)?

I have read all along the offseason that we don't have the money and that our "realistic choices" for FA's are unproven and/or washed up vets. But as of now we are close to being under the cap, we haven't touched those three big contracts yet and I haven't heard of any news source that the Saints don't plan on being active in FA. Am I wrong on that last point? What's your take on this?
 

GreMillionaire

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We've got a better chance of the NFL coming forward with real evidence that we had a bounty program. Just no cap money to really work with as of right now. However, in Loomis we trust. :hihi:
 

LSSpam

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I was reading the thread about our cap situation, and I was shocked at seeing that three of the four top salaries belong to Harper, Vilma and Smith. It's no news that they aren't worth that much, however, it got me thinking:

If other teams have excellent players that get paid in that range (around 10 mil a year), is it possible to think that by cutting these three or restructuring their contracts, we could land an elite prospect through FA (I'm thinking Revis as a primary choice)?

I have read all along the offseason that we don't have the money and that our "realistic choices" for FA's are unproven and/or washed up vets. But as of now we are close to being under the cap, we haven't touched those three big contracts yet and I haven't heard of any news source that the Saints don't plan on being active in FA. Am I wrong on that last point? What's your take on this?
"Elite" defensive players, or "elite" players at all, moving through free agency are rare instances, and often times yield mixed results.

For every Justin Smith or Julius Peppers, there's a trio of Nnamdi Asomugha, Nate Clements, and Ray Edwards. And even Justin Smith wasn't a huge success early on, being a good player but of questionable impact given the price paid for him until Harbaugh came along. Julius Peppers is similiar an excellent, pro bowl player, but given his salary people question the value. Peppers cap figure in 2013 is $16 million. Almost as much as Drew Brees'

It's very expensive to get a top tier FA because the limited supply and excess demand drives the market up. And it tends to be somewhat dicey as well.

By far the best idea is to get players on the cheap, through draft or by getting mid-tier young FAs who aren't "stars" yet, and filter them through your training camp, and identify ability at a dollar/talent to pennies/cost ratio. Then you can settle into a long-term, more expensive market deal with much more knowledge of the player later than trying to get them off the FA market.

This, of course, requires a competent, fearless coaching staff that can make hard choices and expert evaluations however. Something we've had on offense but not so much on defense...
 

Eeyore

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It would be rare to find such a player through free agency. This is why you draft the best player available regardless of position (within reason) and you fill needs with free agency.
 

LSSpam

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Unless you are the Chargers.
There were reasons for that, an exception which actually supports the point.

Brees hit the market not just because they had already drafted his replacement, but because he had also had a catastrophic injury. Without the injury he almost certainly would have been franchised.

NFL teams don't like letting young/prime developing players go, and usually find ways to avoid it. It's very rare for elite talent to switch, and if it's doing so there are normally mitigating circumstances around it. That's why so-called "elite players" hitting FA tend to be more hit-or-miss.
 
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Whodat GT

Whodat GT

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"Elite" defensive players, or "elite" players at all, moving through free agency are rare instances, and often times yield mixed results.

For every Justin Smith or Julius Peppers, there's a trio of Nnamdi Asomugha, Nate Clements, and Ray Edwards. And even Justin Smith wasn't a huge success early on, being a good player but of questionable impact given the price paid for him until Harbaugh came along. Julius Peppers is similiar an excellent, pro bowl player, but given his salary people question the value. Peppers cap figure in 2013 is $16 million. Almost as much as Drew Brees'

It's very expensive to get a top tier FA because the limited supply and excess demand drives the market up. And it tends to be somewhat dicey as well.

By far the best idea is to get players on the cheap, through draft or by getting mid-tier young FAs who aren't "stars" yet, and filter them through your training camp, and identify ability at a dollar/talent to pennies/cost ratio. Then you can settle into a long-term, more expensive market deal with much more knowledge of the player later than trying to get them off the FA market.

This, of course, requires a competent, fearless coaching staff that can make hard choices and expert evaluations however. Something we've had on offense but not so much on defense...
I get what you are saying, the idea is to choose wisely... however, wouldn't this year be the ideal moment to try and lure a top FA to New Orleans, given that Vilma and Smith are now fringe contributors to the team (at least performance wise), while Harper is a question mark, as is the rest of the secondary following their play in 2012, and a guy like Darrelle Revis would be a major upgrade than those three players put together?

I don't know, IMO this year, for cap reasons, it doesn't seem too far fetched to think of the Saints as top contenders for the upper tear of FA's, IF you could manage to be like 10 Mil under.
 

LSSpam

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I get what you are saying, the idea is to choose wisely... however, wouldn't this year be the ideal moment to try and lure a top FA to New Orleans, given that Vilma and Smith are now fringe contributors to the team (at least performance wise), while Harper is a question mark, as is the rest of the secondary following their play in 2012, and a guy like Darrelle Revis would be a major upgrade than those three players put together?

I don't know, IMO this year, for cap reasons, it doesn't seem too far fetched to think of the Saints as top contenders for the upper tear of FA's, IF you could manage to be like 10 Mil under.
Not really. Galette and de la Puente will get above-minimum deals. Even if retained on a RFA tender, we'll have to do it at a 2nd round level likely ($2 million each). Then there is Bushrod, who even if gets priced out of our range we would have to replace with someone else. You have Graham's new deal due in the next year or so, I think actually Graham's contract will probably coincide with a contract restructure/extension by Brees next off-season but it still has to be accounted for.

Combined with signing draft picks....well look, we're not as poor as we feared we might be, but we're not "rich" in cap room either. If we aimed for a top tier FA, let's say Paul Kruger. He's going to get $35-$40 million over 4 or 5 years, probably around $8-$10 million a year. We can backload the deal, but that just puts us in a tighter crunch trying to restructure Brees' and extend Graham's. And we don't have a ton of space to frontload it I don't think.

We're actually probably better off playing a bit more conservative route, trying to find younger less known players at value in FA, and try to maintain and carry forward cap room from this year to the next.

We should be in a much better cap position next year, depending on what we do this year.
 

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By the way, it's kind of hilarious to think about given all the criticism about Brees' contract and how big it is, but next year we'll probably restructure Brees' deal in a way similiar to Brady, guaranteeing huge amounts and extending it at lower base salary rates, and it'll be "spun" by the Saints and therefore the media as Brees taking a big paycut so we can resign Graham.

And of course everyone will think it's just oh so amazing and Brees will get so much love, and really, like Brady did this year, Brees will stand to gain and the Saints structured the deal at the outset specifically for a move like that. But whatever. Just kind of ironic.
 

guillermo

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I get what you are saying, the idea is to choose wisely... however, wouldn't this year be the ideal moment to try and lure a top FA to New Orleans, given that Vilma and Smith are now fringe contributors to the team (at least performance wise), while Harper is a question mark, as is the rest of the secondary following their play in 2012, and a guy like Darrelle Revis would be a major upgrade than those three players put together?

I don't know, IMO this year, for cap reasons, it doesn't seem too far fetched to think of the Saints as top contenders for the upper tear of FA's, IF you could manage to be like 10 Mil under.
Revis is not a free agent and won't be. If you want him, you will have to give the Jets something in exchange, and our resources are limited.

We may be close to be below the cap, but there is still RFA's to sign, and at some point we need to bank some saves for Graham and DLP.

I am on the idea also to look for players leaving their first contract (around 26-27 years old), that have been on the bench behind stars, like Baltimore's Ellerbee. So need to have a keen eye to find them, but those are the best bets you have filling holes in free agency.
 

guillermo

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By the way, it's kind of hilarious to think about given all the criticism about Brees' contract and how big it is, but next year we'll probably restructure Brees' deal in a way similiar to Brady, guaranteeing huge amounts and extending it at lower base salary rates, and it'll be "spun" by the Saints and therefore the media as Brees taking a big paycut so we can resign Graham.

And of course everyone will think it's just oh so amazing and Brees will get so much love, and really, like Brady did this year, Brees will stand to gain and the Saints structured the deal at the outset specifically for a move like that. But whatever. Just kind of ironic.
Already there is speculation that Matt Ryan may get a similar contract as Flacco this offseason, and I can't even imagine the numbers Condon will try to get for Eli and Rodgers.

As of now, the only players I can see getting bigger contracts then position value is De La Puente and Graham. It will be fun to see what will happen when Jenkins' contract is done. But I don't see major urgencies in the near future besides those two.
 

LSSpam

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Revis is not a free agent and won't be. If you want him, you will have to give the Jets something in exchange, and our resources are limited.

We may be close to be below the cap, but there is still RFA's to sign, and at some point we need to bank some saves for Graham and DLP.

I am on the idea also to look for players leaving their first contract (around 26-27 years old), that have been on the bench behind stars, like Baltimore's Ellerbee. So need to have a keen eye to find them, but those are the best bets you have filling holes in free agency.
Yeah, St.Louis for instance did a great job snatching up a player we developed in JoLonn Dunbar for something like 2 years $3 million, and he turned into a nice starter for them. I blame Spags for that, since we essentially tried to turn around and do the same thing snatching Chamberlain away from them (3 years $4.5, same amount per year) for basically the same price.

Those are the moves you want to make in free agency, since they're relatively low risk. The only "consistent" way to get "stars" in the NFL is find them yourself in the draft.
 

Pai Mei

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I think you have to look at lesser named players, that are by all accounts GOOD players, that haven't had the chance for success with their current team due to certain circumstances.

An example if this could be 49ers ILB Larry Grant. When given the chance, Grant has shown to be a very solid LB, but because the 49ers hit home runs with Patrick Willis and Navarro Bowman, he's been relegated to a back-up role. Grant is the type of player we should target. He could come here, and immediately take over a starting role, and perhaps ascend to the upper-tier of NFL ILBs.
 

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