Jamie Squire/Getty Images
I decided to keep restricted free agents out of the top five because of the good chance that they will be back with the Saints next season. These three guys are good players for the Saints and could potentially be gone next year.
3. Aubrayo Franklin
Franklin has been a bit of a disappointment this year for the Saints. He was graded as the No. 2 run stopper in the league last year for the 49ers, but has not lived up to that reputation so far this year. The Saints thought that the acquisition of Franklin would make their defensive line one of the best in the league, but the group as a whole has not done well this year.
Franklin's contract is up this year and unless he starts to play at a higher level, I do not see the Saints re-signing him. He could come back if he takes a decent pay cut, but I am sure other teams will pay him better than what the Saints offer him. I look for teams like the Raiders, Colts, Browns and Rams to give Franklin plenty of attention in the offseason.
Since they have Tom Johnson, I am not sure that the Saints will need Franklin back in 2012. They can always build more depth at the position through free agency and the draft.
2. Chase Daniel
Daniel is a restricted free agent this year and will more than likely re-sign with the Saints. I believe that Chase is a clone of Drew Brees and has the potential to be a great quarterback in the NFL. I am not sure that he is ready to take over as the starter for a team yet, but he will be at that point soon.
I look for the Saints to bring Daniel back in the offseason and make trade bait out of him within the next couple of years.
1. Johnathan Casillas
Casillas is the only restricted free agent that I can see leaving the Saints. He is probably the best pass-rushing linebacker on the Saints roster and has played well this season. Casillas is a very fast linebacker and is able to play sideline-to-sideline.
I expect the Saints to have Casillas back next year and eventually sign him to a long-term deal.