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2013 New Orleans Saints: Free Agent/Cap Casualty Targets—Buyer Beware

Jason BernosContributor IIJanuary 9, 2013

2013 New Orleans Saints: Free Agent/Cap Casualty Targets—Buyer Beware

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    Now that the New Orleans Saints have signed their biggest free agent, Sean Payton, it's time to concentrate on adding talent to the product on the field.

    One team's trash could be this team's treasure, but you have to beware of the lemons.

    The big free agents look nice on paper, but sometimes don't pan out. Let's see if we can identify these bad apples before the free agency period begins because it's never to early to get started on next year.

Doug Free

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    It might seem weird to see Doug Free on any cap casualty or free agent list after signing a $32 million contract before the 2011 season, but his atrocious play has placed him squarely on the chopping block.

    The only positive for Free in the last three years is that he has not missed a game due to injury. Maybe he should have, though.

    He is among the league leaders in penalties and sacks allowed the last three seasons with 32 and 21.5, respectively.

    He will almost certainly be cut because he is making left tackle money while playing on the right side and competing at a junior college level.

    Stay away, Mickey.

Phil Loadholt

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    Loadholt, like Free, never missed a game the past three seasons. 

    Just like Free, it would have been best if he didn't play as much. 

    He had 31 penalties and 17 sacks allowed during the 2010-12 stretch. His penalties were also of the bonehead persuasion, mostly. He's also been fined a few times for illegal play in the past.

    The veteran starter is a hothead who isn't worth the headache anymore in Minnesota and won't be welcomed anywhere else if he continues with his childish demeanor.

Keith Rivers

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    At one time, the choice in the 2008 draft came down to Keith Rivers and Sedrick Ellis for the New Orleans Saints.

    The Saints decided to leapfrog Cincinnati, who was also choosing between both, and picked Ellis. Needless to say, no one came out on top in either selection. Ellis has been healthy but underachieving, and Rivers has been injury-riddled and underachieving.

    Rivers would be a nice fit on the weakside, but he hasn't played a full season in his career. I wouldn't bank on him doing it in the future, also.

Glenn Dorsey

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    Dorsey would be a great story if he came back to his hometown team, but will it be a productive addition?

    Not really.

    When "hometown" heroes come back to New Orleans, it is usually one productive season and, boom, nothing. Examples of this?

    How about Eddie Kennison and Ashley Ambrose?

    Both had good first years and bolted for a new team in the next offseason. (Ambrose came back to NOLA, but he used up his "prime" years in Atlanta.)

    Dorsey might have been out of place in a 3-4 his entire career, but Kansas City could be transitioning back to a 4-3 base defense. That could help rejuvenate his career, but not for the Saints.

    If New Orleans doesn't at least acknowledge history, they would be doomed to repeat it with a Dorsey acquisition. 

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie

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    Rodgers-Cromartie is an intriguing free agent. 

    He was a ballhawk early in his career with Arizona, but can that just be attributed to great safety play that allowed DRC to just freelance?

    I'd go with the that last part. Don't believe it? Look at the drop in his turnovers since he has been in Philadelphia with inadequate safety play. He averaged five turnovers per season in Arizona, and in Philly? One and a half.

    The Saints safeties are good, but I wouldn't lean heavy on them in coverage so that a player can roam around. This isn't 2009.

    Just say no to DRC. 

Osi Umenyiora

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    I had to include this guy on this list because, since Steve Spagnuolo arrived in NOLA, there has been a clamoring from fans to trade for this guy to help the dilapidated pass rush.

    Umenyiora is going to demand a high salary with his thinking he is still in the upper echelon of pass-rushers in this league. 

    Why waste what little money this team will have on a player who is probably on the downside of his career? Even if he is a perfect fit for Spags' defensive line?

    It's time to get young on the defensive line and have a long-term plan for the defense instead of plugging in "rented" veterans. 

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