After what's been a few weeks of bad news for the New Orleans Saints, they've finally got something to be happy about. Jay Glazer of FOX Sports is reporting that wide receiver Marques Colston is going to be a Saint not only in 2012, but for a while after that.
Scoopage: Take 1 name off the list of free agents set to hit the market today. Saints have just agreed to new 5 yr deal w WR Marques Colston— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) March 13, 2012
Colston caught 80 passes for 1,143 yards and eight touchdowns for the Saints in 2011.
What It Means
From the perspective of the Saints, this is a good thing. This is a team whose success is nearly 100 percent dependent on its offense, so losing someone of Colston's caliber would be a major blow to the team.
They are a team with many receivers, but none of them are as consistent as Colston is year in and year out. This gives the Saints a consistent No. 1 receiver for five years, and Colston will be 29 next season, so don't expect the offensive juggernaut to stop any time soon.
Outside of New Orleans, this is significant because it sets a precedent for all free-agent wide receivers. According to John Clayton of ESPN, the deal is for around $40 million, so look at the numbers of other receivers and figure out what they'll be getting based on that.
Logically, the Saints will now shift their attention towards locking Drew Brees up long-term and trying to bring Carl Nicks back.
Other elite receivers (Mario Manningham, Vincent Jackson, potentially Mike Wallace) now have something solid on which to base their asking prices. As the free-agency period gets going, teams and players will have to honor this contract as market value.
Other than that, there isn't a lot to wait on. Colston will hit camp with a nice new contract, and the Saints have one of their key players locked up for a long time. There aren't many negatives for New Orleans in this deal.