Will our Draft history dictate FA next year (OG related) (1 Viewer)

Saint_Ward

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I had a random musing this morning. I want to start out by saying this isn't a "bashing" thread or a "OMG, the saints are terrible, rain miserable rain" thread.

There have been comments (coaches, media, etc) saying how Offensive line is much harder to practice/develop with the changes to the practice rules. I'm not sure how much stock I put in that, but it's out there. So, it seems like game experience is really at a premium. Probably why you see OL contracts, especially guard contracts inflating the last few years. There's a premium on experience now. But at the same token, some rookies have done just fine.

Looking back at our draft history, I can't think of anyone (maybe other than Nicks??) that we've drafted on the O-Line that started right away. Strief took a few years. Armstead was a year or so, I believe. Bushrod was a year or two, and I think fans were ready to give up on him. Jahri Evans took a few weeks (due to Nesbit getting hurt) to take over that job. Every center we've had worth a lick was either a FA or someone with a year or two experience (and some of them weren't great).

I'm not giving up on Peat, but the vision for him was Tackle. And judging by his issues on the right side of the line, maybe he's really meant to be a LT and can't handle the RT (I'm not sure how often he's been able to play RT, but seems like he can't push Strief out of that job). I hope he solidifies the LG position, since he seems to be better on the left.

But given those struggles, are we going to avoid drafting a guard next year early? Does that factor in vs the talent/style of college offense?

Next year a lot of that dead money killing us now will be gone. That's like 3-5 quality FA's. Now, some of our current contracts will be bigger, so I'm sure that will cut into that "extra" cap space, but let's imagine we can make 2 big moves. I fully expect a guard in FA next year (if nothing happens now). Hopefully with Peat at LG this year, the OL won't be as bad as many are concerned about.

Not counting Brees we have 47M in contract space (also not accounting for cap increase). Brees will cost 15-25M against the cap next year, I'm sure (if extended this year, much lower if we re-sign next year, much much much lower and crappier if we don't re-sign him at all). So, that leaves us with about 22M+ in FA. Some of that will likely go to Breaux, unless they try to squeeze another cheap year out of him. There may be some other contracts I'm not counging, but that's pretty solid space for this team. We'd have been fine this year if not for all the dead money from guys no longer on the team. So, our medicine got extended a year.

So, thoughts? Do you think FA is the way to go for future Offensive line holes? Do you still think the Draft is the way to go and there have been enough success stories? Why does our system seem to be a hard learn for OL rookies?
 

IceHot

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I think as long as Brees is our QB we are in win now mode.

If the team projects OG as a need and by that I think you have to factor in when contracts expire, they will probably address it in both Free Agency and the Draft if the value matches the slot in the draft.

Filling through the draft and expecting a rookie to make the difference between a championship team is not a solid proposition. Of the 50 SB Champions only 22 teams had no significant starting rookie contributions outside of Special Teams.

However of the 28 that did have impact rookie starters I noticed that a significant amount have had OL contributions several of which played for the Patriots including Bryan Stork, Dan Koppen, and Matt Light.

I do think every draft we pretty much draft a project player with no expectation of the player panning out as long as there is a strong upside if they do (SJB, Oneymata, Tull, Romeus, Toon, etc). There is a place in the gap between the 53-man roster and the active roster where those projects live.
 

Merl

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I had a random musing this morning. I want to start out by saying this isn't a "bashing" thread or a "OMG, the saints are terrible, rain miserable rain" thread.

There have been comments (coaches, media, etc) saying how Offensive line is much harder to practice/develop with the changes to the practice rules. I'm not sure how much stock I put in that, but it's out there. So, it seems like game experience is really at a premium. Probably why you see OL contracts, especially guard contracts inflating the last few years. There's a premium on experience now. But at the same token, some rookies have done just fine.

Looking back at our draft history, I can't think of anyone (maybe other than Nicks??) that we've drafted on the O-Line that started right away. Strief took a few years. Armstead was a year or so, I believe. Bushrod was a year or two, and I think fans were ready to give up on him. Jahri Evans took a few weeks (due to Nesbit getting hurt) to take over that job. Every center we've had worth a lick was either a FA or someone with a year or two experience (and some of them weren't great).

I'm not giving up on Peat, but the vision for him was Tackle. And judging by his issues on the right side of the line, maybe he's really meant to be a LT and can't handle the RT (I'm not sure how often he's been able to play RT, but seems like he can't push Strief out of that job). I hope he solidifies the LG position, since he seems to be better on the left.

But given those struggles, are we going to avoid drafting a guard next year early? Does that factor in vs the talent/style of college offense?

Next year a lot of that dead money killing us now will be gone. That's like 3-5 quality FA's. Now, some of our current contracts will be bigger, so I'm sure that will cut into that "extra" cap space, but let's imagine we can make 2 big moves. I fully expect a guard in FA next year (if nothing happens now). Hopefully with Peat at LG this year, the OL won't be as bad as many are concerned about.

Not counting Brees we have 47M in contract space (also not accounting for cap increase). Brees will cost 15-25M against the cap next year, I'm sure (if extended this year, much lower if we re-sign next year, much much much lower and crappier if we don't re-sign him at all). So, that leaves us with about 22M+ in FA. Some of that will likely go to Breaux, unless they try to squeeze another cheap year out of him. There may be some other contracts I'm not counging, but that's pretty solid space for this team. We'd have been fine this year if not for all the dead money from guys no longer on the team. So, our medicine got extended a year.

So, thoughts? Do you think FA is the way to go for future Offensive line holes? Do you still think the Draft is the way to go and there have been enough success stories? Why does our system seem to be a hard learn for OL rookies?
Bureaux will stil be on his rookie deal next year and if they can't agree on a long term deal after that they can put a restricted tender for the 2018.
 
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Saint_Ward

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Bureaux will stil be on his rookie deal next year and if they can't agree on a long term deal after that they can put a restricted tender for the 2018.
Yes, the team can do that. But he could also hold out. That's why I put it as a thing to consider.

He wasn't drafted, so I don't think he has to wait like drafted rookies do. I could be wrong.
 

bobad

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I'm betting Payton is already studying college Guard prospects, and will take one or 2 pretty early (as Guards go).

I hope we can acquire a pair of true Guards. I'm tired of the G/T hybrids that are too tall and thin-legged to get under the pads.
 

Merl

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Yes, the team can do that. But he could also hold out. That's why I put it as a thing to consider.

He wasn't drafted, so I don't think he has to wait like drafted rookies do. I could be wrong.
He is eligible for a new deal after this year. Undrafted players have to play 2 years under the rookie contract while drafted have to play 3. The only way around that is to release them and pray they clear waivers. Then resign them to a new deal. If they are good enough that your willing to give him a new contract early then they won't clear waivers.
 

boo-boo

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It all depends how the o line plays this Year. If Peat turns into a great LG by the end of the year we will decide to keep him there. All the OGS on there roster are still young so we may have one developed into a decent right gaurd. If so it might be a right tackle we look for since strief is at the tail end of his Career
 

guillermo

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In order of recruiting offensive linemen I will take to paths.

1) On the pro level, I will look for back-up players that have done an over average job in replacing starters during an injury. Case and point. RG Mike Harris of the Vikings, who decided to stay with his team on a one year deal, for like a million a year.

2) On the college level, I will concentrate myself on the teams that play either a pro-style offence or that are successful in both the run game and protections. For guards I always look at teams like Wisconsin, Nebraska, etc. that based their offence on great offensive line play.

The third step, of course is to develop, and for that I mean to have a development project that can take the position once a starter leaves, like Armstead was at his time.

Based on the idea that I presented on another thread of having a budget for unit, we know that we are overspending at left tackle and center. We can have another big contract for either a right tackle (hopefully) or guard, but two positions have to come on at least at market value and below, and yes, we should start drafting more players that may take time to develop, but will be ready to replace a big contract. A gamble Green Bay is taking by letting Sitton go.
 

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