NFL Free Agency: What Is the New Orleans Saints' Biggest Need Post-Lockout?

Jamal WilliamsContributor IJuly 14, 2011

NEW ORLEANS, LA - MARCH 22:  New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton answers questions from the media during the NFL Annual Meetings at the Roosevelt Hotel on March 22, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Despite a NFL owners imposed lockout in effect since March 12 the league is conducting it's annual owners meeting in New Orleans. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Sean Gardner/Getty Images

With the lockout seemingly in its final weeks, it is time to look forward to the frenzy we will call the offseason.  Many teams will make large investments in players to quickly fill holes on their rosters.  These teams will be crippled by their contracts for seasons to come, but the New Orleans Saints front office has far too much experience and talent on their team to make a mistake like this. 

Simply put, if the Saints were to retain the majority of their own free agents, they would walk into this season primed to make a playoff run. But, For the Saints players and fans, the playoffs are not going to be enough. It is Super Bowl or bust, go big or go home, all or nothing.

That being said, the Saints have very few holes on their roster as long as they are able to re-sign a few key free agents (ie: Harper, Moore and Bushrod).

But even with the roster the way it is, the Saints will be in the market for a veteran outside linebacker with starting experience. If the season started today they would only have Arnoux, Casillas and rookie Martez Wilson to play at the position. Needless to say, this is less than ideal because not one has starting experience.

This is a situation where the team will be looking for a reasonably priced veteran looking to chase a Super Bowl ring. It is a win-win situation: the veteran gets to come in and make a run at a ring and the Saints get a mentor for their young players.

A few players that could fill this role are Keith Bulluck, Ben Leber and Mike Peterson. Another option is to go the most conservative route and retain Scott Shanle, who already knows the system.

All things considered, I would most like to see the Saints acquire Keith Bulluck. Bulluck has 11 years experience, should not command a large contract and has recently said that last season was like a year off. If he were to come and play anywhere near the level he has played most of his career, he would be a major asset on defense.