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papz 04-24-2011 08:34 AM

Filling their needs

While the NFL draft is always full of intrigue and uncertainty, this year’s Player Selection Meeting — the league’s official name for the three-day exercise — will be taken to a new level.

It’s been business as usual when it comes to preparing for the draft for most teams, including the New Orleans Saints, but there figures to be more angst when it comes to making picks because of a lockout of players that entered its seventh week Saturday.

While the impasse between the owners and players continues, front office executives, scouts and coaches will be trying to fill holes in their rosters without the luxury of having a free agency signing period.

Because teams commonly use the draft to supplement the work they have already done in free agency, it could be more important than ever this year — especially for those that have a lot of potential free agents waiting on a new collective bargaining agreement.

The Saints are among them with 26 potential unrestricted free agents, the most in the league.

With key free agents at several positions, — including outside linebacker and strong safety — as well as a big question mark about whether running back Reggie Bush will take a pay cut to return to the team, the Saints could be trying to fill holes that may exist later this summer.

Complicating the problem is they don’t have a lot of draft picks in which to get some of those potential holes filled.

Full article below.
Filling their needs | Sports | — Baton Rouge, LA

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