New Orleans Saints Free Agency Tracker: Updated Signings, Rumors and Storylines
The New Orleans Saints have made more than their fair share of news so far this offseason. Between the whole "Bounties" situation, their failure to re-sign Drew Brees to a long-term deal and the speculation about whether Carl Nicks and Marques Colston will return to NOLA, the Saints have been one of the top news items in the NFL.
According to Spotrac, the New Orleans Saints' cap figure after the moves they've made thus far in the offseason stands at $101,183,254. They have a cap rollover figure of $4,220,000. Their cap is actually then $96,968,254.
This guarantees they have at least $23 million under the current salary cap. That does not even account for the likely increase in the cap from $120 million to $125 million.
Listing Saints' Unrestricted and Restricted Free Agents
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4/16: ProFootballTalk is reporting that the Saints have re-signed WR Courtney Roby.
|DT Aubrayo Franklin||LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar
|WR/ST Courtney Roby||LB Ramon Humber
|K John Kasay|
|DE Jeff Charleston |
|CB Tracy Porter |
|CB Fabian Washington|
Analysis: The Saints have offered a tender to LB Jonathan Casillas. The tender allows the Saints the right of refusal should another team offer him a contract. The tender is the lowest figure for around $1.25 million.
With over $5 million in estimated cap space, re-signing the big three and Porter should be possible. But doing so would likely prevent the Saints from bringing in any outside free agents.
Colston and Brees are back in New Orleans.
Report: Saints Sign LBs Curtis Lofton, David Hawthorne
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Report: Saints Sign DL Brodrick Bunkley
3/21: Adam Schefter is reporting that the Saints have signed DL Brodrick Bunkley to a 5 year, $25 million dollar contract with $9 million dollars guaranteed.
The Saints are getting one of the best free agent defensive linemen left on the Free Agent market. He should be able to come in immediately and help the New Orleans D-Line.
Saints Sign G Ben Grubbs
Report: Adam Schefter of ESPN is reporting the Saints have signed guard Ben Grubbs to a five-year deal reportedly worth $63 million. Schefter also reports that it includes a $10 million signing bonus. This is a huge move, as the Saints were dealing with quite a loss after Nicks signed with theBuccaneers.
Report: WR Marques Colston Agrees to Contract Extention
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According to Jay Glazer on FoxSports.com, the New Orleans Saints and unrestricted free agent Marques Colston have agreed to a five-year contract extension.
Colston snagged 80 receptions for 1,143 yards and eight touchdowns last season.
Carl Nicks: 'I Am Pretty Much Gone'
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Report: Adam Schefter of ESPN is reporting the Saints have signed guard Ben Grubbs to a five-year deal reportedly worth $63 million. Schefter also reports that it includes a $10 million signing bonus. This is a huge move, as the Saints were dealing with quite a loss after Nicks signed with the Buccaneers.
In a recent radio interview with WWL-TV New Orleans, Carl Nicks claimed, "In my mind, I am pretty much gone, to be honest."
He elaborated, stating he doesn't believe the Saints are going to suddenly offer him a long-term deal after waiting the entire offseason up to this point.
While the Saints' lack of effort in pursuing Nicks is baffling and difficult to understand, one thing makes sense: The team has had a lot to do this offseason, and maybe Nicks wasn't priority No. 1. Of course, getting Drew Brees' deal done was, yet the team failed in that regard too.
Those two failures are baffling for a front office that had been in the right for so long.
The Brees-Y Thing
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When it was announced on Saturday, March 3 the Saints had given Drew Brees the exclusive right franchise tag, many Saints fans flipped. And apparently, Brees did himself too.
While we could all be naive and believe Brees is perfect, he is human too and will say things that he may not normally say. But none of us can truly blame him for wanting to get paid. The guy has done more for the Saints franchise and the city of New Orleans than any other man in its history, maybe all of them combined.
We should also remember the Saints were actually wise to ensure Brees cannot leave, and in making such a move, give themselves more time to come to a long-term agreement.
Porter, Meachem, Other Lesser Prized Guys
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While the Saints obviously want to re-sign the core guys that everyone knows and is talking about, Tracy Porter and a few other Saints free agents are kind of a big deal too.
The Saints have tendered Jonathan Casillas, but what about Jo-Lonn Dunbar or Ramon Humber?
Porter may be costly, but at least retain Fabian Washington if you're going to let Tracy go.
Those are all my opinions, but it's confounding to me as to what the Saints are thinking right now.
Grant Halverson/Getty Images
In recent days the New Orleans Saints have brought in Atlanta linebacker Curtis Lofton (pictured here) and Rams' linebacker Chris Chamberlain. Chamberlain played for new Saints defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo in St. Louis.
Lofton is one of the most productive linebackers in the game and that he has not been signed yet is truly a surprise.
Finally, Jo-Lonn Dunbar visited the Rams Thursday, March 22.
All information taken from Mike Triplett @triptp.
Can the Saints Sign Any Outside Free Agents?
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I think most fans could forgive the Saints for letting Marques Colston and Carl Nicks, in addition to some of their other guys, go were they to provide a bombshell such as Mario Williams.
The great thing is that he's as close to an automatic thing as a free agent can be. He had great success on a horrible defense, which played in a 4-3 scheme. Then, he also made a good 3-4 defense better in his first season.
If he were to come to New Orleans, he would fit Steve Spagnuolo's scheme as well as any player in the entire NFL.
March 15, 2012 Update: ESPN's Adam Schefter reports via his Twitter that Mario Williams will be given a six-year deal from the Bills. He reports that the contract is worth up to $100 million dollars with $50 million guaranteed.