The Saints have eight restricted free agents that will be waiting on their contract tender this offseason, but only four of them should actually receive them. (My apologies to Eric Olsen, Justin Drescher, Alex Daniels and Nick Hixson, but you are just not high on the priority list right now.)
Those four players are Chris Ivory, Brian de la Puente, Junior Galette and Rafael Bush.
Everyone knows Ivory's trek this season, and that is exactly why he will be tendered this offseason, if for nothing more than trade bait. The Saints didn't hang on to him through the trade deadline just to let him walk in February with no compensation.
Ivory has played well in spurts when he was given his opportunity this year, but he's not the long-term answer at the position and will be better off getting a fresh start with a new team. Too much is invested in other players at that position for him to get a fair shake.
De la Puente might be the only guy out of the four mentioned here that will get a tender based solely on the fact that there is no one left at his position. Even with that said, I would not offer him anything. He is not worth a tender in my eyes after his play this year. He will be signed, though, because like I have said, this team is exhaustingly loyal to its players, starters in particular.
Galette will be tendered with a second-round grade because he means so much to this team's pass rush. He teams up with Martez Wilson for a fierce pass-rushing duo on the second team unit and, with Will Smith's enormous cap figure, could be up for the starting job opposite Cameron Jordan.
Bush has really come on in the last half of the season, much like Mack has, and he should definitely be locked down for the backup safety spot behind Roman Harper. He doesn't have any starting potential long-term, but in a pinch, he would suffice in the secondary. He and Isa Abdul-Quddus are very solid backups in the secondary, and equally as good on special teams, which is a big perk.