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Big Time Gamblers?

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Posted 05-23-2008 at 06:03 AM by hagan714
Updated 05-04-2009 at 06:32 PM by hagan714

The thread about the the Saints and the big time gamblers they are this year has forced me into a long rebuttal. One I thought was better for the blog than the thread. We talk about the reach of walking wounded the saints have signed in 2008 and compare them with the FA signed Philli and Carolina. Including the draft moves of others. I think we need to step back and see this team in the proper light.

here is the link:

In the case of Philli and Carolina I have to agree they did improve the teams greatly. In Phillis case they mortgaged the cap for next few years with those moves. But Philli has to do this because they are an aging club. They have cut as much cap space because of age as the can without hurting the team over the last two years and are left with no choice but to make the super bowl push now. Carolina was smarter they did trade and cut to make cap room. But trust me more is to come out of Carolina. They made some good moves in year one. Carolina will always be our #1 contender for the division. Their FO is good. Atlanta and Tampa will have their years but until the FO changes I do not see either of them being a threat year in and year out. Thank god our FO changed or the Panthers would be all alone.

So while it is an improvement in Philli over the short haul, I have to say building over time like the saints are doing is the way I would go. Let us not forget the fact we are still in the early stages of building a foundation for this team. Draft youth and sprinkle it with a few vets at the key positions. We did it on offense in 2006. But we had to do it opposite on defense. We got the good but not glamorous veterans first and just we are now starting to add some much needed youth to the defense. You only have so much cap space and draft picks in a two year period to build a club. I like what the saints did and I have to say luck played a big part of it.

That first year netted us 5 solid starters on offense, 4 in the draft (Bush, Evans, Colston, Strief and Faine) and 2 (Drew, Miller) in FA. On the defensive side we also got Thomas, Shanle, Simoneau, Fujita and Harper. Now do you really think we can pull of deals like this in the off season every year? Beside now we are looking for youth to replace some of those vets that got us a 10-6 record and 1 game from the super bowl.

In 2007 we went heavy on the offense again in the off season and results was that not too many of them saw the field. Now we we use the word bust to describe that draft. I fhave this to say to those people. Come on the offense was not an issue and the saints went for players that can be developed as starters in a year or two to replace the other aging parts of the offense that the 2006 draft did not address. Of course they did not start. The OL was great in 2006. DUH. WR is the are we got some bad luck in. Mech got hurt. We layed a goose egg in the fourth and lost a fifth rounder. Now that sounds like a typical draft in the NFL to me.

2008 we did take a big risk and traded for Vilma. If all goes well he will be the key addition to the defense just like Drew was to the offense in 2006. Then we added Gay into the CB mix and that alone was an immediate upgrade for the secondary. Now we addressed the defense with the first 3 picks in the draft. 2 solid DTs to protect Vilma. A solid CB for the secondary. Added another OT/OG and WR to the team. We did a great move in the 6th and tried to solve our kicking games problem. 2 Ks on the roster is crazy. Free up one of those spots for another position is a wise move. Plus this kid kicks in the cold weather. GB in December and January is not going to phase him. I can not wait to see what he does in a Dome stadium.

Now to go out this year and get some of the Big Ticket FAs names that are being thrown around here this year would have been, well stupid to say the least. Just take a look at the FA we have to sign next year. Granted 2 are RFA but that does change a thing. You can not place a 1st and 3rd round tenders on both of them. You have to sign one at the least. If not it will put you into a bidding war for both and really do damage to the cap. Evans and Colston are on every teams hit list right now. We have to get this done. I have not even mentioned Smith here. He is going to cost us too. Next year in FA we will be able to make moves because we did not mortgage the cap this year. Do not forget this was a weak FA class this year and next years is going to be better.

Once we get the depth on this team and the age of this team down then we can make the moves. We have to take it one step at a time. Once the roster is established then make our super bowl run in FA. Dump the big bucks into the several positions you think will need upgrading to get you there. Simply put we are not there yet. Lets see what this year brings. I hope for a ring but my gut is telling me it maybe another two years till we ready to make that push. When we do the team will be deep enough and young enough to keep that push going for many years to come.

As for the remaining positions pointed out here, Center, Safety, TE, and Running Back, lets see if there is a diamond in the ruff and what camp cuts may bring. If nothing develops there is always next years draft and FAs to address those needs. This is only the start of year 3 of the rebuilding process and I like were we are at. We are not as big of gamblers as you think. Vilma is the only one this year. All the other moves have been solid, smart and safe.
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