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this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; I like the way the Saints handle free agency and the draft. Don\'t go nuts and over spend on FA\'s, build thru the draft, and add FA\'s here and there to plug holes....

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Old 03-10-2003, 08:37 PM   #21
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Uh Oh

I like the way the Saints handle free agency and the draft. Don\'t go nuts and over spend on FA\'s, build thru the draft, and add FA\'s here and there to plug holes.
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Old 03-10-2003, 10:08 PM   #22
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Gator, you sound like the 49ers a few years ago when they said Rice was done. YES, I KNOW - Rice and Brown are the exception. I agree. But you have a terrible misconception of how old starting receivers are in this league. Here\'s a few:

Rod Smith - entering 9th year.
Marvin Harrison - entering 8th.
Jimmy Smith - 10 years in the league.
Johnnie Morton - 9 years in.
Eddie Kennison - entering 8th year.
Troy Brown - starting his 11th year.
Wayne Chrebet - entering 9th year
Curtis Conway - 10 years in the league.
Frank Sanders - entering 9th year.
Shawn Jefferson - 12 years in the league.
Muhsin Muhammad - Entering 8th year.
Joey Galloway - Entering 9th year.
Bill Schroeder - Entering 9th year.
Amani Toomer - Going into 8th year.
Terrell Ownes - Entering 8th year.
Bobby Engram - Entering 8th year.
Isaac Bruce - 9 years in the league.
Keyshawn Johnson - Entering 8th year.
Keenan McCardell - 12 years in the league.

Go find me 20 better players receivers with less experience. These guys aren\'t all stars, but they\'re all solid.

Bottom line - Horn is an essential part of our offense RIGHT NOW. He\'s playing at a Pro Bowl level last time I checked. Until that changes, you do show him the money. Give him what he wants. If you give him a five year deal and his play falls off after two you restructure, trade him, or release him. The flip side is that he ends up being more ageless than any of us suspects and we\'ve got him under contract for five years or whatever. You back-load the contract and try to build in incentive-based pay as much as possible. But you extend his contract and you do it NOW. Hell, if they\'re willing to give Brooks a $30+ million contract based on his play are you really trying to tell me that HORN hasn\'t earned it?!?!

\"Excuses, excuses, excuses. That’s all anyone ever makes for the New Orleans Saints’ organization.\" - Eric Narcisse


\"Being a Saints fan is almost like being addicted to crack,\"
he said.[i]\"You know you should stop, but you just can\'t.\"
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Old 03-10-2003, 10:11 PM   #23
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PS - if you count Rice and Brown on my list of \"over-the-hill\" receivers, you\'ll find all four starting Pro Bowl receivers. Just thought I\'d point that out.
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Old 03-10-2003, 11:52 PM   #24
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Point taken WhoDat. Do I think the Saints can keep the guys they ahve plus all the new draftees for a number of years? Maybe. I sure as hell hope so and I thikthat is the way to build up a team- draft the guys you like that will fit in with what you want to do. It is certainly possible. However, I certainly understand your point that past history indicates the Saints will not do this. All I am saying is I hope they do this.
I do think that with the exception of glover, we made the right move getting rid of those other guys. I heard form several people that Rickey was one of the guys who really quit in the end of the 2001 season. I know he is great but he was worth trading for 2 #1 picks (I think almost any player is). Willie I am not even going to touch- we all know that saga. Joe Johnson was old, had been injured before and we let him go. A tough call there (it would be really easy to say we did the right thing b/c he got injured last year but that really is nto fair to say- no one can predict injuries). Did Grady work out? Not really. Or nto yet. But I think his contract called for a 1.5 mil signing bonus (2 year, fairly low base in first year). He came pretty cheap and was worth taking a flier on.
Does Horn deserve top 5 money? No. Top 12 money? Yes. If I were him I would be thinking: \"Hey, I have doen alot for this team and I want a new contract. If not, I am holding out.\" I don\'t want him to do this but if he is smart he will b/c we can always franchise him for a year or two after this in order to keep him for 2-3 more years. So let\'s set an example and treat a great player the right way by resigning him- maybe that will show other young guys onthe team we do not discard them after contract #1. Also, even if Horn is a number 2 or 3 receiver in 3 years, he is damn good and will continue to be for a few more years. I feel like this is a sure thing, as opposed to some fa\'s we may sign who never pan out (connell, dale carter so far, sloan). So I really want us to keep Joe. That being said, if Joe pulls an Orlando Pace and demands rificulous money the Saints need to play hardball and let him sit out, then franchise him. As for Howard, I seems like everyone agrees we should lock him up. Sammy Knight will e missed. I would like him to stay but he was not at an all pro levellast year and it just depends on how much $ he wants.
I know the Saints organization is not top flight by any means, but a lot of the guys who are unhappy seem to let this out when they are halfway out the door b/c they feel they should get more money.
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Old 03-11-2003, 06:57 AM   #25
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WhoDat, I am right with you. Whoever ragged me for the \"have to spend money to make money\" comment. I would like to site some more logical examples; Yankees(spend),Bengals(don\'t spend),Reds(don\'t spend), Bucaneers(didn\'t use to spend)Lakers(spend).

However excited everyone is for two first rounders;what impact players will we select withour picks? I guess the question is,are any of our picks going to alter our chances of making the playoffs or SB this year? No. We need to keep the few impact players we have now,and spend money on key\"over the hill\" impact players to make a change now. I site WhoDat,with Rice, hell the Raiders have always picked the \"has beens\". 49\'ers were not real young when they were successful. The other thing this does is give you an opportunity to win, and winning attracts better players, and makes your good ones want to stay.

I am afraid we have missed our opportunity to select any key improvements. I hope we keep Turley. Roaf walked big time. Rickey was given away,I would rather have Deuce, and Rickey had a big year and gave us a better pick...whew!

I would love to see Woodsen,he would be an impact player,hell we had Ambrose when he was a couple years younger. Gandy is a decent find, and I hope Ruff can help cure our ailing D.

Also, if anyone says the draft picks will help us re build that is nonsense. I have been waiting for the Saints to rebuild for many years.
Screw the cap money,we need to win now. No one wants to come here. Spikes was a huge miss for us.
Sorry to be so cynical, but look at the last two seasons, key veteran free agents don\'t let play off opportunites slip through their hands.

[Edited on 11/3/2003 by subguy]

Don't want 'em to get your goat....don't show 'em where it's hid
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Old 03-11-2003, 09:01 AM   #26
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You all make valid points... we\'ll have to see what happens in the future. Let me say this - I do like what the Saints have been able to do with bringing in young talent. They\'ve been incredible in that respect. Brooks, Deuce, Stallworth, Grant, Bentley, Craver, Allen, Hodge, Mitchell, and Leiws (not so young, but new and undiscovered) are all great players that they\'ve been able to add in the last couple of years, and those are just the ones off the top of my head.

This might sound crazy, but part of my concern is that this organization is pretty damn good when it comes to identifying young talent. That being said, if you throw in another 4 or 5 pleyers from this year\'s draft you\'re in trouble in two or three years when these guys start becoming free agents and they\'ve all turned into good players. We can\'t possibly keep them all. Which speaks to my point about the Saints becoming a feeder team for the real contenders.

More importantly though, is the ridiculousness in the way this organization works. I don\'t understand it. They reward a guy like Venturi for his loyalty by promoting him to defensive coordinator, a post that he obviously doesn\'t deserve. They pay Aaron Brooks a ton of money at a time when he is largely unproven for what he MIGHT be able to do. Yet, when it comes to a guy like Joe Horn, there\'s hesitation... well, maybe not from the Saints at this point, we really don\'t know. But there should be none at all.

I don\'t care what your take is on Horn as a person. As a player, he has been the single most impactful player on our team since Haslett got to New Orleans and the best receiver to ever wear black and gold. And he shows NO signs of slowing down:

2000 - 94 catches for 1,340 yards, a 14.3 yards per catch average, 8 TDs and a long of 52.
2001 - 83 catches for 1,265 yards, a 15.2 yards per catch average, 9 TDs and a long of 56.
2002 - 88 catches for 1,312 yards, a 14.9 yards per catch average, 7 TDs and a long of 63.

In 2000 he ranked fourth in the NFC in receptions, fifth in yardage, third in first down receptions, and he went to the Pro Bowl.

In 2001 he tied for sixth in the NFC in scoring among non-kickers (54 points), fifth in receptions, fifth in receiving yards, 11th in total yards from scrimmage (1,269), 12th in first downs (59) and tied for fourth in third down receptions, and that was with another 1000 yard receiver on the team (Willie Jackson) and a late season tank-job! Oh yeah, he went to the Pro Bowl.

In 2002 he finished 5th in the NFC in receptions, 3rd in yards, etc. etc. etc. Am I making my point? Oh, wait, that\'s right, he went to the Pro Bowl.

How can you not reward a guy like this? A big contract is a reward. A thanks for being the best receiver in the history of this franchise. Yes, this is a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately league, so in three years, if his play has fallen off, you change the terms or get rid of him. I understand that. However, if the Saints do not re-sign Joe Horn, barring any major injury or drop off in play this season, then I am at a complete loss as to how this team will ever be successful. YOU KEEP YOUR STAR PLAYERS. The Saints have not done this over the past three years. New players have emerged, I fully acknowledge that. I am a big Stallworth fan - but as I believe you put it Gator during the Brooks/Delhomme debate - potential just means that you haven\'t done it yet. Horn has, and continues to do it every time he puts on a Saints uniform and you\'re not convinced?

\"Excuses, excuses, excuses. That’s all anyone ever makes for the New Orleans Saints’ organization.\" - Eric Narcisse


\"Being a Saints fan is almost like being addicted to crack,\"
he said.[i]\"You know you should stop, but you just can\'t.\"
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Old 03-11-2003, 11:26 AM   #27
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Hey Gator, I completely agree. I think we\'ve built a pretty steady base of young players though. At this point, we\'re looking at Brooks, Deuce, Stallworth, Bentley, Grant, Allen, Hodge, Ruff, Mitchell, and Craver probably as starters. All of these guys are young and with the exception of Brooks, none of them have a lot of starting experience. I agree, don\'t break the bank on free agency. Absolutely. But I\'ve been saying for a while that getting rid of Turley and Hand frees up another $6 or $7 million in cap room and probably adds a first or second round draft pick. That\'s TONS of room. We\'d be back to where we started around $15 mil.

I think our offense is similar to Tampa\'s D. The pieces are in place. Now we just need help from the defense, like they needed offense. Do we want to waste four years or do we want to take our shot now? B/c if you look at what Tampa did, they spent a lot last year to bring in some free agents who aren\'t exactly young. McCardell, Brad and Rob Johnson, Pittman... The point is that they did what they needed to do to propel themselves to a championship.

I think with the addition of an impact LB (colvin & quarles are still out there), and a corner (a la Woodson) or safety (Lassiter, Jones, etc) the Saints will propel themselves to at least a real contender. We\'re talking about two players. That\'s not breaking the bank. Hell, you can sign two players and end up paying them less in salary in their first year then Hand is scheduled to make. Use the draft for DT and corner/safety, whichever you need to fill after free agency. That\'s one point.

The other is that you protect your stars. San Francisco stays good b/c their stars stay in SF until (with the exception of Rice) they are really done playing at a top-notch level. A lot of players retire as 49ers. No one ever retires as a Saint. Fontenot is going to do something in the next year or two that is amazing to me. Retire as a Saint. That\'s impressive, b/c very few good players ever do that.

\"Excuses, excuses, excuses. That’s all anyone ever makes for the New Orleans Saints’ organization.\" - Eric Narcisse


\"Being a Saints fan is almost like being addicted to crack,\"
he said.[i]\"You know you should stop, but you just can\'t.\"
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Old 03-11-2003, 02:33 PM   #28
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We agree Gator...

I\'m having a little trouble with your logic though. Why do you feel Horn is slowing down? I think he\'s playing as well now as ever before. Is it just something that you assume of all older receivers? It\'s an understandable, and even accurate, idea. Although, obviously open to anomolies (Rice, Brown). But isn\'t Horn an anomoly also? He\'s a Pro Bowler, which immediately makes him different than all but a handful of receivers in the league. And the fact that he \"broke out\" and has begun to play at such a high level so \"late\" in his career also makes him different from the norm.

Also, this is an area I\'m not real educated in so help me out. As long as you structure his contract in a way that doesn\'t guarantee him $ after retirement (i.e. signing bonuses paid over the next five or ten years or guaranteed pay), then releasing him alleviates any liability he creates. Right? Or am I misunderstanding the way these things work?

\"Excuses, excuses, excuses. That’s all anyone ever makes for the New Orleans Saints’ organization.\" - Eric Narcisse


\"Being a Saints fan is almost like being addicted to crack,\"
he said.[i]\"You know you should stop, but you just can\'t.\"
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Old 03-11-2003, 06:09 PM   #29
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Oh Gator, c\'mon! The guy\'s been to three straight Pro Bowls. He\'s been in the top five in the NFC in a variety of categories every year since he came to New Orleans. You\'re right, he\'s not a top five receiver. He\'s a top 10 receiver (top five in the NFC). Regardless, it hasn\'t mattered if he is the only receiver or if there\'s another 1000 yard receiver on the team. Bottom line, he produces game in game out, year in year out.
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Old 03-11-2003, 06:35 PM   #30
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I guess I should put my two cents worth in on this subject. LOL. As I see it you have to pay Horn to stay. Weren\'t we all just complaining about the Saints not trying to keep Jake? Yes,I know Jake is younger, but as I see it Horn is a much bigger part of this offense than he gets credit for. When he is on the field with Stallworth and Pathon , who do you double? To me he has earned what ever he gets. We all wonder why the Saints get rid of our \"best players\" . Then we wonder why we should pay them what their worth. My question is, how much is Joe Horn worth to this offense? In a couple of years, sure he might have lost a step but he can still play a #2 or #3 reciever. Sure we could go into the free agent market and maybe find someone to replace him but then you have to hope he fits the chemistry of this team ( Albert Connell) . I won\'t go so far as to say Horn is irreplaceable but he\'s damned close. I say keep Joe Horn in black and gold and let him retire a Saint. If there\'s one player I think is the heart of this team it\'s Joe Horn. Just my humble opinion.

As far as how to stock a team. I think the Saints are doing a pretty good job. As I see it you have to find a happy medium between free agents and draft picks. The free agents allow you to field a decent team while you bring your draft picks along and teach them the system. If you research the NFL and the teams in it, I think you\'ll find all of them do it this way to some degree. And then there\'s the Redskins lol.

I don\'t think Benson will allow Loomis and Haz to hock the farm to bring in 1 or 2 big name free agents. It is after all a business to him and he\'s in it to make money.

I guess we\'ll just have to sit back and see what they come up with next. To me the offseason pickups they have made are good ones and should improve the team. I just hope that we\'re not through with the free agent market yet.

LOOK AT THE BRIGHT SIDE, THEY COULD BE BRINGING IN BRIAN GRIESE AS AB\'S BACKUP.

Sometimes it's better to keep your mouth shut and be thought an idiot, than to open it and remove all doubt!!!!!

"Every time you think, you weaken the nation!" Moe Howard...The Three Stooges.
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