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Team Report: Strategy and Personnel

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; With the Saints re-signing three offensive players (Jamar Nesbit, Jonathan Goodwin and Terrance Copper) and a kicker (Martin Gramatica) from last year's team, they'll likely spend some money on the defensive side of the ball in free agency. The Saints ...

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Old 03-02-2008, 01:18 AM   #1
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Team Report: Strategy and Personnel

With the Saints re-signing three offensive players (Jamar Nesbit, Jonathan Goodwin and Terrance Copper) and a kicker (Martin Gramatica) from last year's team, they'll likely spend some money on the defensive side of the ball in free agency.

The Saints certainly could use some help after finishing 26th in total yards allowed and 30th against the pass last year. They gave up a whopping 245.3 passing yards a game and allowed 32 touchdown passes -- which tied for the most in the league.

TEAM NEEDS/OFFSEASON STRATEGY

Center Jeff Faine, who has anchored an offensive line that has allowed just 39 sacks in the last two seasons, left for Tampa Bay. However, defensive tackle Brian Young re-signed.

Saints coach Sean Payton indicated in his postseason news conference he would like to bring back his three free agent wide receivers -- David Patten, Devery Henderson and Terrance Copper -- but otherwise hasn't talked much about free agency. Copper was re-signed on the eve of free agency.

He said he would like to add some young impact players to the defense, but that was a given considering the Saints ranked 26th in total yards allowed and 30th against the pass last season.

1. Cornerback: The Saints struggled all season against the pass, especially with the deep ball, and a top-flight corner would certainly help.

2. Defensive tackle: While they improved against the run this season, the Saints need to get stronger in the middle.

MEDICAL WATCH: No updates.


FRANCHISE PLAYER: None.

TRANSITION PLAYER: None.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

--S Jay Bellamy was a 14-year veteran last season and as such probably doesn't figure into the team's plans for 2008.

--S Steve Gleason is a special teams headhunter who missed last season after having knee surgery in June and it's unknown if he'll be re-signed.

--WR Devery Henderson has had his ups and downs since joining the Saints in 2004, but his numbers were down last season mainly because of drops. Yet, Payton has said he'd like to have him back.

--TE Eric Johnson gave the Saints a nice receiving threat with 48 catches, but was injured late in the season although they likely want him back.

--QB Jamie Martin hasn't seen a lot of playing time behind Drew Brees and likely will be offered a chance to remain with the team.

--TE Billy Miller has shown toughness as a willing blocker and also caught 27 passes last season. As a result, he could be part of the team's plans in '08.

--WR David Patten was a major contributor at the age of 33 with 54 catches for 792 yards and three TDs last season and will likely be back in 2008.

--RB Aaron Stecker has been invaluable as a third-down back and special teams player. But he'll turn 33 midway through next season and the Saints may have his successor in Pierre Thomas.

--CB Fred Thomas was a healthy inactive for nine games last season and it would be a real shock if he were offered a contract.

--DL Renaldo Wynn played well after being signed off the street early in the season and will likely be asked back after finishing with 3 1/2 sacks.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (not tendered offers)

--LB Matt McCoy (not tendered as RFA) is a player who performed mostly on special teams after being signed at midseason.

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: None.

EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS

--DE Josh Cooper is a capable backup who's played a lot in the rotation the last two seasons.

PLAYERS ACQUIRED

--LB Jonathan Vilma (traded Jets).

PLAYERS RE-SIGNED

--WR Terrance Copper: Potential UFA; 2 yrs, terms unknown.

--C/G Jonathan Goodwin: Potential UFA; 3 yrs, terms unknown.

--PK Martin Gramatica: Potential UFA; $730,000/1 yr.

--OG Jamar Nesbit: Potential UFA; 3 yrs, terms unknown.

--MLB Mark Simoneau: UFA; terms unknown.

--DT Brian Young: UFA; $12M/3 yrs, SB unknown.

PLAYERS LOST

--C Jeff Faine: UFA Buccaneers; $37.5M/6 yrs, $15M guaranteed.

--PK Olindo Mare (released/failed physical).

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