So much for the Saints not having money to spend, or ignoring defense… So much for this blog post I made theorizing as much. The Saints opened the vaults quickly after the bounty gate news in an attempt to at least minimally diffuse the bad news. The Saints inked arguably the best remaining defensive free agent on the market in defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley to a 5 year deal worth $25 million with $9 million guaranteed.
Jeff Duncan reported the Saints were about $3 million under the cap prior to this deal. My guess is this deal is at least $2 million of a cap hit in it’s first year. I don’t think the Saints overpaid for Bunkley at all and they got him at a good contract. This is an upgrade over Shaun Rogers and Aubrayo Franklin in the run stuffing department, though Bunkley was surrounded by some outstanding players in Denver. Bunkley, in his first year with the Broncos last season, was rated by Pro Football Focus as the 3rd best interior defensive lineman in the entire league! By comparison, though, Bunkley was rated 36th in 2010 with the Eagles and 9th in 2009. Aubrayo Franklin, also by comparison, graded worse than Bunkley in 2009 as 15th overall with San Francisco, but better in 2010 with San Francisco as 13th overall. Franklin dropped way down to 57th overall last year with the Saints in what was a very disappointing year.
The 28 year old 1st round pick of the Eagles is known as a durable tackling machine that is excellent against the run.