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WhoDat!656 04-20-2012 04:53 AM

New Orleans Saints must move on a replacement for DE Will Smith
The NFL is still expected to suspend several New Orleans Saints players for their role in the now highly-publicized bounty system, run under the direction of former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams from 2009 to 2011.

Will Smith, Jonathan Vilma, and Roman Harper are all said to be in the cross hairs of the league, with Vilma expecting to receive the brunt of the punishment.

Itís been reported Vilma could receive anywhere from a two game suspension to an eight game suspension.

New Orleans has already prepared for his loss, agreeing to terms with free agent linebackerís Curtis Lofton, David Hawthorne, and Chris Chamberlain.

Lofton should take over for the Saints at middle linebacker while Hawthorne, who also played middle linebacker with the Seahawks, will likely plat at outside linebacker on the strong side.

Chamberlain played weakside linebacker with the Rams last season.

With their ďbasesĒ essentially covered at linebacker the Saints needs to look at defensive end in expectation of losing Will Smith.

Smith plays on the right side of the defensive line where he has had some good seasons and bad.

Depth behind him is okay, comprised of Junior Galette and Jeff Charleston if he re-signs, but neither initially invoke confidence to produce consistently for the Saints.

Galette has some serious upside with his excellent speed, but itís doubtful the Saints would trudge through multiple games with him solely as the starter at right defensive end.

If the Saints donít address the position in the draft, where they donít pick until the third round (89), then free agency will be the most logical choice.

Two names immediately jump off the board, James Hall and Andre Carter.

Carter notched ten sacks and 52 tackles for the Patriots last year in fourteen games before a torn quad landed him on injured reserve.

Rumor has it he is still not completely healed from the injury, but if he can get healthy by the regular season then there is no reason why the Saints shouldnít give him a shot.

He clearly can produce inside a 4-3 defense and itís no secret New Orleans needs to boost itís pass rush.

Hall may be the best answer as he played with Steve Spagnuolo during his tenure with the Rams, totaling six sacks and 50 tackles last year.

Familiarity aside, Hall should also be affordable, and with limited cap space thatís exactly what the Saints need is an affordable solution.

Beyond these two players there is not much left on the market. Unless they are indeed looking towards the draft, now is the time to get one of these players signed and into the teamís facility

New Orleans Saints must move on a replacement for DE Will Smith

papz 04-20-2012 06:33 AM

I think we'll be just fine w/o trying to sign a name player until Smith's suspension is up... if he has one at all. Cam Jordan, Junior Galette, Jeff Charleston, Turk McBride, and Greg Romeus should be more than serviceable I would think. Payton's suspension is lengthy because they don't have a union... the NFLPA association will have our player suspensions minimized.

FinSaint 04-20-2012 07:21 AM

I agree papz, they already have a nice variety of personnel at the DE position and if they pick someone like Derek Wolfe from the draft, who has experience at both DT and DE - they'll have even more depth at that position.

And if push comes to shove and they find themselves shorthanded due to injuries at the time Smith would potentially be suspended, they can always try temporarily moving someone like Wilson to DE.

And I wouldn't be all that surprised if the Saints use one of their picks in this year's draft to pick a pass rushing DE for depth in one of the lower rounds, someone who'll fit the mold of what Spags likes to have in a DE.

Crusader 04-20-2012 07:36 AM

Andre Carter would not be bad if healthy. He should be able to thrive in Spags D.

Brandon428 04-20-2012 08:32 AM

I am a big fan of the DE position,I think they can make a huge difference in a game. I wish they would try to get a beast at DE. I really think we need (in this order) a S,DE,CB,WR,TE.

We really need another WR,not many people have been talking about it but I’m sorry to say Henderson is 6/10 at best and Lance Moore is an incredible receiver but he’s under sized. We need another 8-9/10 receiver to compliment Colston.

At the tight end position after Graham (I can’t praise that guy enough) the talent drops tremendously. TEs are becoming much more versatile and useful in the game now and we really need someone to compliment Jimmy.

As for safety I think we need a ball hawk. I don’t think we need a bruiser like harper,to bad we don’t have someone like Polamalu(He’s the best imo) could you imagine? :)

I think we should start really paying attention the the CB position also because Greer is getting old and sooner rather than later the rookies are gonna have to step up or we’re gonna have to find some more talent.

As for the DE position I really think this is where we should go out and make big moves to get a big name like Osi etc... A good DE can completely obliterate the oppositions game plan.

I’m done ranting. No matter what happens though I think this will be one hell of a season! :)

halloween 65 04-20-2012 09:04 AM

I think Gregg Romeus and Junior will do fine under Spags. Quaddus looks primed to battle Jenkins for the FS spot, I still say we need a push from the middle. Baptiste would be a great presence in the middle and should be there in the draft when we finally get to pick. I think Spags. will take a DT and a corner in this years draft and the rest will be offense.

|Mitch| 04-20-2012 09:39 AM

At this point, I see CB as our biggest concern, then maybe DT/DE

RaginCajun83 04-20-2012 10:38 AM

I've been saying all offseason that they need to find someway to cut ties with Will Smith .... production did not equal his salary, great teams like the Steelers, Pats, Eagles have been successful because they cut veterans a year before its to late, its time the Saints start doing the say thing.

Besides Junior, Romeus, McBride, Charleston can all fill Smith's spot for a lot cheaper than keeping Smith around with little drop off in production

frydaddy 04-20-2012 11:34 AM

He (smith) already restructured his contract. Unless they plan on suspending him the whole year I don't see why he should he cut

FinSaint 04-20-2012 04:54 PM

Smith is still a good DE and best of all he can be a great DE with Spags as the DC as he has a very different approach to the position than GW did.

I don't see any reason for them to cut ties with Smith at this point in time, and they don't seem to either since they worked out a restructure with him in order to make his deal more cap friendly.

And I agree with you Mitch on the principle, but I do see DT as the bigger need and then CB, because as we all know - that interior pressure can make things a lot easier for the DBs in general.

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