Free Agency

Saints Franchise Brees. Nicks, Colston Likely To Hit Market

For the past year, quarterback Drew Brees and the Saints have been attempting to negotiate a contract to keep their elite passer in New Orleans. Today, overshadowed by the revelation of the Saints dirty scheming which has absolutely infuriated me and opened old wounds I thought were stitched tightly, it was reported by Jay Glazer of Fox Sports that Drew Brees was given the franchise tag and will remain in New Orleans (or, in other words, the two parties were unable to come to an agreement).

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Get this stupid news concerning this dirty team, which we all hate right now, off of my favorite Vikings blog!” Hold on a second, because in a roundabout way, this concerns the Vikings as well.

By franchising Brees, the Saints are in bad shape with their salary cap. I guess they’re in better shape than they would be had they actually worked out a contract, but it still isn’t looking good for them. The Saints will only have around 6 million left in cap room after using the franchise tag (maybe they can find some wiggle room in their bounty fund?). This shortage of funds will make it difficult (nearly impossible) for the Saints to retain some of their other big name free agents. More specifically, guard Carl Nicks and wide receiver Marques Colston will likely hit the open market and both players have been mentioned in various Vikings circles as players they could/should be targeting in free agency. Wide reciever Robert Meachem could become a free agent as well.

Carl Nicks would be a great addition and instant upgrade to the Vikings offensive line. If he were coupled with Matt Kalil, dare I say, we could almost overnight have one of the better offensive lines in the league.

Robert Meachem on the other hand is a little harder to gauge. Was he the product of less coverage due to the group of elite receivers around him? Did Drew Brees just make him look good? Could he really excel as a #1 receiver? These are all questions that would need to be addressed. But if the price is right, I imagine the Vikings could entertain picking up Colston.

Another issue, in light of the news of the Saints perverse bounty system, is whether or not the Vikings would want anyone from New Orleans. Granted, the potential free agents mentioned above are on offense and the Saints transgressions were by players and staff on defense (as far as we know). Still though, you have to consider that it could weigh into the team’s decision.

I wonder, if Colston or Nicks were to be Vikings when we play New Orleans again in the future, would the Saints put a bounty on them? Wouldn’t surprise me…

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Brett Anderson

Brett Anderson (Founder) is a passionate Viking fan hailing from Sin City, Las Vegas. He can remember, as a child, scraping his knee on the playground and his friends being completely shocked by the purple blood trickling from the wound. When Brett isn't scouring the Internet for some semblance of Vikings news, he enjoys blindly putting money on them to beat whoever their opponent may be, and daydreams about being their next Tight End. Brett graduated from UNLV with a degree in Architecture and specializes in web/graphic design; he hopes to provide this site’s visitors with the best Vikings experience on the net.

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  1. The problem Saints were on defense. What better way to hurt them than take Nicks and/or Colsten?

    1. Thanks for visiting the site!

      I totally understand that the problems were on defense. But personally, I wonder how someone could be involved with a team like that and know that those types of thing were taking place. Again, some people will say that this is happening on lots of teams… But I don’t know where the proof is on that…

      It would be nice to take Nicks from them. I think he would be a great addition to the team. WE wouldn’t really be hurting them, though. They are losing him because they don’t have the money to keep him.

      Hope to see you again around here!

  2. I just don’t know that investing the $8-10 million a year on Nicks is a smart investment for a team that is rebuilding. I completely agree that combining that signing with Kalil would instantly give the Vikes one of the better lines in the league, but I see having an all-pro guard as more of a luxury than a franchise changer. They need to add to the secondary and they are going to need to overpay in order to do it. I guess it just depends on how things play out though. If it’s obvious to them that they can’t get Brandon Carr on a plane to come visit day one of FA and Nicks does want to come, then you take the elite player at what ever position you can.

    1. I can see where you’re coming from, Dan, but when you have a $100 million invested in a running back, you better help the guy out and open some lanes for him. Not only that, our Oline was atrocious at points last year, simply picking up a rookie LT isn’t going to improve it to the level you want when you have, AP and a young, developing QB. I mean, they are paying Hutch $7 mill, why not pay that extra million and get a young, All-Pro. I don’t agree that he doesn’t fit in with the rebuilding because he’s only 26 years old and is fully capable of playing out a lengthy contract at a high level.

      As for, Carr, while I agree the Vikes need help in the secondary, I actually don’t see why people are making such a big fuss over him, he wasn’t even the best CB on his team and for someone who has only 8 picks in 4 years and never made the pro bowl (I know it’s not a totally accurate representation of a players skill) he will be demanding a top CB salary. I would rather get someone a bit cheaper like, Tracey Porter and draft from the deep class of CB’s in round 2 and have an elite player like, Nicks (Although, I’m not too sure that everyone wants a couple more Saints players on their team!)

  3. Part of the reason I’m not sold on giving Nicks big money is because they dished out so much for both AD and Greenway. The NFL is a passing league and the only guy the Vikings are paying top dollar too that makes a difference in the passing game is Jared Allen. We’ve been making the arguement that AD helps us in the passing game by pulling up the safety, but we haven’t exactly lit up the league with explosive downfield passes. I’m more of the mindset that you win in todays NFL by having players that either create explosive plays for your team or take them away from the opponent. Those are mostly edge players like pass rushers and OT’s, CB’s and WR’s. You still need to be strong up the middle as well, but I think it’s more important to be elite outside and good in the middle than vice-versa. At some point I think the Vikes need to get their salary cap aligned more in that direction.
    There is also the question of are you better to sign one elite player or 3 good pieces? I guess if you consider that Ayodele, Jenkins, and C. Johnson are counting for almost $10 million dollars of cap space this year after being brought in last season, spending that same amount for a perenial pro-bowler like Nicks looks pretty smart. There’s many different ways to look at it, but I guess in the end you sign the guy if you can.
    As far as the CB market, the one thing I really like about Chris Carr is his durability. He hasn’t missed a game in the four years he’s been in the league, and with what we’ve witnessed the last few years it would be kinda nice to have a player that you can count on being in the lineup. Porter over the same time span has missed multiple games with injuries (the 14 he played in last year was the most of his career) and has only one more interception.

  4. Dan, there is no doubt the league has developed into a passing league in recent times, but I don’t think that, Jared Allen is the only way the Vikings have attempted to impact the passing game. I think the reason, we are failing to see those explosive plays down the field and a devastating ground game has a lot to do with the atrocious offensive line play (and the poor WR options). They definitely need a big number one receiver to help, Ponder out, but without a decent oline he won’t have enough time to drop back without getting hit, nor can you open decent running lanes and by failing to do so, they are seriously limiting their major weapon (and investment) in, AP. Not only this, but when they can run the ball and stay on the field, they keep these high powered offences off the field and your defence gets a chance to have a break, something the Vikings offence failed to do last year.

    As for the secondary, there is no doubt there is an increasing need for decent cover guys with all the 3/4/5 WR sets teams utilise, but let’s not get carried away with, Carr. He isn’t a, Darelle Revis, who is going to shutdown the best receiver on the opposite team. I agree durability is important and is something the Vikes have certainly missed the past couple of years, but at the end of the day, Carr is a number two, that will end up costing the price of an elite corner. I think when you look at all the injuries (and legal issues) the Vikes had in the secondary last year, coupled with a reasonable FA class and a very deep CB draft class, there are number of avenues available to improve the secondary. In my opinion, spending that money on an All-Pro guard, that would improve several aspects of the team would be wiser than getting into a bidding war and overpaying for an above average corner. Anyway, with FA just around the corner, it’s always an interesting time of year, hopefully the Vikes can come away from it with a few more pieces to help the rebuilding!