Four games left in the 2012 season, and the New Orleans Saints, at 5-7, still have chance at making the playoffs—a very slim chance, but still, it's there. So the season is not over just yet.
Still, after such a tumultuous season, I'm sure there are more than a few Saints fans that would like to put this 2012 season in their rearview mirror and look to 2013. Heck, maybe even some in the Saints organization feel the same way.
New season, clean slate, a chance to improve their roster.
Let's take a look at, and rank in importance, at some of the free agents the New Orleans Saints should look into acquiring.
It would be interesting if the New Orleans Saints brought back their Super Bowl hero, cornerback Tracy Porter.
The Saints' secondary unit has struggled all season long, and bringing back the five-year veteran would vastly improve their struggling lineup.
Porter played his first four years with New Orleans before leaving for the Denver Broncos this season. He has not played much this season due to his injury problems, and that is why his production has declined. He's only played five games for 21 tackles and one interception.
Tracy Porter would be a good signing for the Saints; he's fast, and has good cover skills. The only potential downfall is his injury.
The pass-rushing for the Saints has been abysmal, especially in the beginning of the season, providing very little to no pressure on opposing quarterbacks.
The Saints are in the market for a play-making defensive end. And being that a few of their pass-rushers are going to be free agents this offseason (i.e. Junior Galette, Will Smith, and Turk McBride), the Saints need to look into improving their pass-rushing woes by picking up a play-maker.
The four-year veteran, defensive end Michael Johnson, is a monster. Standing at 6'7" and 270 pounds, he's an imposing figure that causes problems to opposing teams.
Johnson is having the best year of his career so far with eight sacks, 39 tackles, one fumble recovery, and one interception. The Saints would definitely improve their pass-rushing with the Michael Johnson addition.
The current center for the New Orleans Saints, Brian de la Puente, will become a free agent after this 2012 season.
The center took over the starting duties for the New Orleans Saints last season and had a great year. The Saints signed him to a one-year deal to lock him up for the 2012 season.
A good center is hard to come by, so it would be wise to re-sign De La Puente again. He knows the playbook and is comfortable with the offense.
As mentioned in an earlier slide, the Saints' secondary has struggled. Just imagine the addition of safety Dashon Goldson and how much that would improve their unit.
Dashon Goldson has a nose for the football. He is a ball hawk, and is a hard-hitting safety that is also good at stopping the run.
He had his breakout year in 2011, earning his first Pro Bowl selection after leading the secondary in tackles and had a career-high six interceptions. This season, Goldson has 55 tackles, three interceptions, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, and 10 passes defended.