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Next Step for the Saints: Free Agency - a full explanation

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Well, it's been over a week now and the Super Bowl victory is still fresh in all of our minds but let's face it, it'll never get old. I'm going to personally cherish it all through next season and into ...

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Old 02-15-2010, 01:20 PM   #1
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Well, it's been over a week now and the Super Bowl victory is still fresh in all of our minds but let's face it, it'll never get old. I'm going to personally cherish it all through next season and into many to come, but I'm also hoping there are some more championships sprinkled in there as well.

All of the players are going to continue to enjoy it for a while longer or at least until it is time to go back to work. Before they know it, it'll be time for OTA's and training camp and getting ready for the upcoming season which includes defending their title as world champions.

Too bad for Saints' office personnel and the coaching staff though as they've got to get to work much sooner. The free agency signing period begins March 5 and that could bring about a lot of joy or sadness depending on what happens. Things are going to be a bit different this year though because rules change quite a bit when you've just won the Super Bowl and are declared the best team in the NFL.

I'm going to take a good look at free agency and give everyone a full explanation of what it means to have restricted free agents, unrestricted free agents, new rules for our champion Saints, and what could come about with the possibly uncapped season. For a full run down on what an uncapped season could mean, check out an article I did about the affect it'll have on the league and some players.

My first line of business is to explain to you all exactly what it means by the different types of free agency.

Unrestricted Free Agent (UFA) - players that are in a contract year and can either re-sign with their current team or seek out a contract from another team. These players are free to sign with whomever they want without having to worry about any restrictions laid upon them.

Restricted Free Agent (FA) - players that are in a contract year and have the options of re-signing with their current team or seeking out a contract from another team. If they do get an offer from another team though, their current team has the option to match the offer and keep the player or let them go.

When a player's contract is up then it is time for them to become one or the other, but times are changing and an uncapped season means a lot more players meant to become unrestricted free agents will now fall in as restricted instead. This sincerely limits the possibility that they could go to other teams if they wish to. Oddly, it helps teams though as they'll be able to hold onto a lot more of their players without worry of losing them.

The Saints are set to have 21 restricted free agents and 9 unrestricted free agents. Good news on that front is that only 2 of the 9 UFAs are starters but there are 5 of the 21 RAs starting for the black and gold.

Unrestricted Free Agents
  • S Darren Sharper *
  • LB Scott Fujita *
  • QB Mark Brunell
  • TE Billy Miller
  • TE Darnell Dinkins
  • TE Dan Campbell
  • C Nick Lecky
  • DT Kendrick Clancy
  • S Pierson Prioleau
Restricted Free Agents
  • OT Jammal Brown *
  • OT Jermon Bushrod *
  • OT Zach Strief
  • WR Lance Moore
  • WR Courtney Roby
  • RB Pierre Thomas *
  • RB Mike Bell
  • TE David Thomas
  • TE Troy Humprey
  • FB Kyle Eckel
  • S Roman Harper *
  • S Usama Young
  • S Chris Reis
  • CB Leigh Torrance
  • DT Anthony Hargrove *
  • DE Remy Ayodele
  • DT Rodney Leisle
  • DE Jeff Charleston
  • LB Marvin Mitchell
  • LB Anthony Waters
* - Denotes Starter

All of those players are rather important to the Saints in one way or another even though it most specifically holds true for the starters. For instance, Remy Ayodele has had his name mentioned a lot this season as he's been a considerable force on the defensive line when needing to fill in for injured Charles Grant at times.

Now the Saints are going to be looking at some differences in free agency this year due to winning Super Bowl XLIV. Considering they were one of the final four teams remaining in the playoffs; the signing of new players won't be as easy for them, the Indianapolis Colts, the Minnesota Vikings, and the New York Jets. There are only two ways any of those teams can sign new players (UFAs) from other teams unless one of two conditions are met:
  • A UFA must be released from their current team and clear through waivers.
  • Those four teams lose a UFA of their own to another team.
  • Considering the Saints only have 9 UFAs to begin with then any new additions may prove to be few and far between.
It's going to be an interesting offseason starting right now as the coaches and staff start preparing for next year. The NFL Scouting Combine begins near the end of February where all the top college players show off their skills in preparation for the NFL Draft which starts on April 22. Free agency officially begins on March 5 and can last all the way up to the beginning of the season, but by that point, mostly everything is already done.

Many questions remain for the world champion New Orleans Saints including what exactly to do with players such as Charles Grant and Reggie Bush. It honestly looks as if the team that finished the season on February 7 in Miami could return almost completely intact come the beginning of the regular season in September, but it'll take some doing.

Over the next few weeks, I'll be analyzing all of the RAs and UFAs to see if the Saints can manage to keep them or if they're even worth keeping. Stay tuned because the big party may have ended but the fun is just beginning.


FULL STORY AT THE EXAMINER

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Last edited by Halo; 02-15-2010 at 01:32 PM..
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Old 02-16-2010, 09:07 AM   #2
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Re: Next Step for the Saints: Free Agency - a full explanation

This could be a major problem for us!!
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Old 02-16-2010, 10:36 AM   #3
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Re: Next Step for the Saints: Free Agency - a full explanation

Of course we win the Superbowl when the restrictions are the greatest for the winner. I do feel good about returning our starters but it's going to be tough to get players in FA. I don't think Gene Upshaw would have let this happen.
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Old 02-17-2010, 12:31 AM   #4
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Re: Next Step for the Saints: Free Agency - a full explanation

Key point is only 2 starters are unrestricted. They will both be taken care of, (Sharper and Fujita). We'll keep who we need, I seriously doubt the back ups are gonna be leaving. Not most of them unless the money is way better and I don't think it will be.
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Old 02-17-2010, 07:40 AM   #5
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Re: Next Step for the Saints: Free Agency - a full explanation

Other teams are in worse shape.

I trust the staff. They've got us this far.

Payton and Williams, as well as the front office know what they're doing, imho.
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Old 02-17-2010, 09:28 AM   #6
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Re: Next Step for the Saints: Free Agency - a full explanation

I agree with Choupique, our front office will handle all this the right way.
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Old 02-19-2010, 04:37 PM   #7
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Re: Next Step for the Saints: Free Agency - a full explanation

Unrestricted Free Agents
  • S Darren Sharper *----------------sign
  • LB Scott Fujita * -----------------sign
  • QB Mark Brunell
  • TE Billy Miller ---------------------sign
  • TE Darnell Dinkins
  • TE Dan Campbell
  • C Nick Lecky ---------------------sign
  • DT Kendrick Clancy ---------------sign
  • S Pierson Prioleau
Restricted Free Agents
  • OT Jammal Brown *
  • OT Jermon Bushrod *----------------sign
  • OT Zach Strief ---------------------sign
  • WR Lance Moore -------------------sign
  • WR Courtney Roby------------------sign
  • RB Pierre Thomas *-----------------sign
  • RB Mike Bell -----------------------sign
  • TE David Thomas ------------------sign
  • TE Troy Humprey
  • FB Kyle Eckel
  • S Roman Harper * -----------------sign
  • S Usama Young -------------------sign
  • S Chris Reis-----------------------sign
  • CB Leigh Torrance
  • DT Anthony Hargrove *------------sign
  • DE Remy Ayodele -----------------sign
  • DT Rodney Leisle
  • DE Jeff Charleston-----------------sign
  • LB Marvin Mitchell
  • LB Anthony Waters
* - Denotes

Wow, we could be in alot of trouble.I say let J. Brown go. Maybe tender him low and get a pick for him when someone else grabs him. Release Grant and cut, trade or restructure Bush.

PS: we really need a backup QB. Chase is not ready and Mark is on his way out.
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Old 02-19-2010, 04:46 PM   #8
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Re: Next Step for the Saints: Free Agency - a full explanation

And I am tired of hearing about Peppers. He will not be worth what we will have to pay him. Slide Hargrove over and draft one for the future. So many UFAS and RFAS we can not afford to go after a big name guy.
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Old 02-19-2010, 06:07 PM   #9
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Re: Next Step for the Saints: Free Agency - a full explanation

I have to say that I am not really that concerned. We had a lot of role players step up and play well this year, but I am not sure that will necessarily mean more money elsewhere.

As for the starters, how much is an aging Fujita command? Or an injured Brown? Sign PT and Sharper and the rest will fall into place
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Old 02-19-2010, 07:11 PM   #10
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Re: Next Step for the Saints: Free Agency - a full explanation

It's going to be a boring off season. I guess I can start with the stupid cat pics again.

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