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We cannot afford to keep Howard.

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; The Saints would like to deal Howard to clear room on the salary cap and open playing time for promising second-year defensive end Will Smith. All of Howard's $7.8 million salary would clear the books if he is dealt. As ...

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Old 03-31-2005, 12:48 PM   #1
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We cannot afford to keep Howard.

The Saints would like to deal Howard to clear room on the salary cap and open playing time for promising second-year defensive end Will Smith. All of Howard's $7.8 million salary would clear the books if he is dealt. As of Friday, the Saints were $5.4 million under the $85.5 million salary cap.

The Saints hope to get long-term contract extensions with running back Deuce McAllister, wide receiver Joe Horn, center LeCharles Bentley and perhaps cornerback Mike McKenzie this offseason and need the cap room to negotiate.
Source: http://www.nola.com/saints/t-p/index...1102199980.xml

That was as of March 12. So we actually only have about 4 mil in space right now, since releasing T-buck actually cost us 1 mil (and some change) in cap space instead of saving us any.

Signing our rookies this year will cost about 3.5-4 mil, if it is anything like previous years. That would leave us with roughly .5 mil to sign anyone else to a long term contract or to the team, period.

If we keep Howard and don't sign McAllister to a long term deal that includes no more than a .5 mil increase for this year (since that appears to me to be all we can afford given our cap space) both will be UFAs next season. We can only franchise on of them, so one will go AND we will get no compensation for him. Even if we can afford to resign both next year, we will have to do so in the open market rather than signing McAllister now for a Saints friendly deal.

Furthermore, trading Howard and meeting other defensive needs would free up an additional 7.8 mil to use to re-sign guys like McKenzie, McAllister, and Bentely; this way, our hand will not be forced in signing them later against an open market. Also, Grant is still playing on his rookie contract; I'm sure he'll want to see the money soon.

This isn't so much an issue of who wants to stay in NO (like Duece), but who we can afford to keep and who will have the upper hand in the negotiations. If we renegotiate now, we are doing these players a favor (by giving them better contracts) AND they will not have the threat of FA to hold over us. Now, all they can do is hold out.

Benefits of keeping Howard:
1. We keep a stud DE who will play at most 2/3 of the time (or be asked to play out of position, where he has said he doesn't want to, at DT in passing downs).

Costs
1. We keep a guy who wants to see Wistrom like money, so we are unlikely to ever make a long term deal with.
2. His injury record is shakey, his trade value may never be higher than it is now.
3. We CANNOT offer advantageous long-term contracts to McKenzie, Bentley, and McAllister (and possibly Grant).
4. We will be forced to chose between McAllister and Howard next year with our franchise tag AND may lose one with NO compensation.
5. A DE will not help the middle of our run defense, which is in serious need (even when Howard is on the field).

Don't get me wrong, I like Howard a lot, but financially, I just don't think it is feasible to keep him through the season without putting McKenzie, McAllister, and Bentley at risk of departure at the end of the upcoming year. Also, we need a LB or DT - Howard can get us one of those, and not a bad one either.
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Old 03-31-2005, 01:01 PM   #2
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We cannot afford to keep Howard.

Correction- Deuce\'s current contract does not expire until after the 2006 season.
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Old 03-31-2005, 01:06 PM   #3
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We cannot afford to keep Howard.

Ah, well that does change things a good deal. My bad.
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Old 03-31-2005, 01:08 PM   #4
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We cannot afford to keep Howard.

When do those other guy\'s contracts expire, since the same argument could be made using one of them instead of Duece?

If everyone is good for the next two years (except Howard), then I retract the argument. If not, it remains.

It also remains the case that we need LB and DT help now, which Howard can only get us in a trade.
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Old 03-31-2005, 01:09 PM   #5
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We cannot afford to keep Howard.

good presentation kool. i appreciate your effort. i don\'t have the patience to present the case for things that to me are so obvious. ya know they can get a 3rd rounder minimum. i\'d do that before keeping him. it is nothing at all to do with him but about cap management. there is $85mil and the saints cap squeeze is starting. ya gotta be extremely prudent in who you dole out 10% of a team\'s payroll to. i think the case stands regardless if deuce is \'06 or not.

think woodson in oakland for $10mil! an even worse scenario, they\'ll be lucky to get anything for him. he is probably a lot harder to sign than howard cuz of such outrageous contract demand. and if he doesnt, he has oakland by the kahunas for 10mil.

[Edited on 31/3/2005 by LKelley67]
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Old 03-31-2005, 01:10 PM   #6
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We cannot afford to keep Howard.

Horn, after this coming season.
McKenzie, after the 2006 season.
Bentley, after this coming season.
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Old 03-31-2005, 01:14 PM   #7
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We cannot afford to keep Howard.

Thanks BnB.

I restate my case with Bentley then, instead of Duece.

Thanks LK.

It seems I was in error, but BnB has straightened it up.

I don\'t think that a 3rd rounder is enough for Howard. We should be able to get a second or a starter - since that is what Howard is/was. Furthermore, picks have a certain level of risk that Howard doesn\'t - even if Howard only plays 10 games a season, that is way better than a draft \"bust\".

We\'re not so far over the barrel to take only a 3rd, don\'t you think?

(BnB - where do you get your contract info, so I can get it in the future?)

"... I was beating them with my eyes the whole game..." - Aaron Brooks :cool:
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Old 03-31-2005, 02:09 PM   #8
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We cannot afford to keep Howard.

www.nflpa.org
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Old 03-31-2005, 02:12 PM   #9
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We cannot afford to keep Howard.

Thanks BnB! I\'ll check it out.
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Old 03-31-2005, 03:11 PM   #10
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We cannot afford to keep Howard.

Point still taken JKool. I don\'t think we can afford to keep Howard. We \"can\" afford to keep him, technically, but I think it would be in the best financial interests to deal him now. For starters, and this is the most important reason, his value will probably never be this high again, especially with him splitting so much time with Will Smith and Charles Grant. I don\'t think he\'ll be able to keep Will Smith on the bench that much this year, so his numbers will dwindle, yet he\'ll still have a high asking price next year. If he would adjust his asking price, that would be one thing, but he will want starter money again. I can\'t say that I blame him. He has the talent and he deserves to be a full time starter, but it no longer makes sense(financially) for the Saints to pay for his services at that rate, not when we have who I think is a future superstar in Will Smith.
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