Saints Nation Mailbag

Thanks for the twitter questions! You guys always deliver.

It’s tough because so much of it depends on what is available when you pick. Before the combine it’s hard to really know who’s stock will be up or down come the end of April. Someone’s health is going to get flagged, a couple guys will do something stupid between now and the draft etc etc… They pick 12th and the obvious area they’ll want to address is defense. Personally, Myles Jack of UCLA is a guy I want if he falls to 12. The Saints need a weakside linebacker that can cover tight ends, running backs, and has good instincts/speed to the ball. You really can’t go wrong with finding someone in the front four, either. If they pick an offensive player, guard or receiver make the most sense, but they can address those positions later in the draft. A difference maker on defense is the key.

Don’t you remember his wife dropping the “Compton curse” on the Saints? There’s bad blood with how things ended with Sproles. I’ve been asked this same question about Jimmy Graham before. I just don’t see those two guys coming back unless they were paid A LOT. They both feel disrespected by the Saints and it’s not going to be hard for them to find a job with another team if they were released. The only way to fix that bad will is money at this point. I think there is truth to Sproles getting let go by the Eagles, yes, but don’t expect him back in New Orleans.

Yes and no. When you consider Browner and Spiller as the biggest signings of the 2015 class on paper, that’s an F- for sure. I’m not exaggerating when I say Browner had one of the worst seasons in the history of the NFL, performance wise. And Spiller was a total non factor outside of that one memorable play in overtime against the Cowboys. So make no mistake, this free agent class was awful. But Breaux was a really nice pickup. If Keenan Lewis is healthy next season, the Saints are going to have a killer 1-2 cover combo. Breaux is so good, I’d say he could easily end up being one of the best pickups in free agency in the Sean Payton era outside of Brees. Sharper comes to mind, Fujita was great, Greer and Lewis are solid… Sproles was a fantastic pick up. But Breaux is easily in the mix if he has a couple more good years. I would say it’s not sad he’s the best FA pickup because a lot of teams wanted him last year and the Saints were fortunate he wanted to come home. And he would’ve been offered a lot more knowing what we know now.

I think it would depend on circumstance. If Brees goes down week 1 and he does a mediocre job with Garrett Grayson, I think he could stay. The Saints believe in him and they are committed to rebuilding with Payton. If the defense remains the same AND the Saints go worse than 7-9 with Brees healthy and performing, though, yeah… I think he would possibly get fired in that situation.

Definitely. I don’t think the Saints spend big but they’ll add a veteran. Consider that they have Breaux and Lewis as the starters, but Lewis is a health question, and then you have rookies that were health concerns last year in Damian Swann and P. J. Williams. Breaux also broke his neck way back when. That’s a lot of injury history in your top 4 corners and you definitely need depth. Brian Dixon is nice for depth, too, but he’s more of a special teamer. I could see Patrick Robinson coming back, or the Saints having Kyle Wilson back for depth. Or, they could get another vet in the mix. I don’t see them spending Browner type money now that they know what they have in Breaux, though.

Myles Jack is my guy if he falls to 12 right now. I also find Treadwell quite tempting. Buckner is a no brainer if he falls and Jack is gone. So I would say my top 2 are Jack and Buckner, followed closely by Treadwell. I like Ogbah and A’Shawn a lot too. I know some people think he’s a 3-4 guy but he reminds me of a more steady less flashy Akiem Hicks that will work well in either scheme. Billings scares me as not a sure thing. He’s so raw I’m not sure I take him at 12 because you don’t know how productive he’ll be in year one. But man, he is SO powerful.

I put these two tweets together since it’s the same topic for the most part. This is a question I honestly don’t know the answer to. I think it comes down to money with Khiry. How realistic are his expectations? I think based on him getting in that altercation with an intern at training camp and the leg injury, the Saints may decide to move on. I don’t see Robinson agreeing to sign a minimum tender and I don’t think the Saints would match an offer if he can get one in restricted free agency. Teams shy away from testing that market, though, so we’ll see. Hightower is a no brainer to return, in my opinion. I expect him back. It’s not out of the question you could have both competing in camp, though. I’d rate the odds of Hightower’s return at 75% and Robinson’s at 40%.

I’m not sure I totally understand the question but I think you’re asking me for the top 3 free agents targets AND the positions I least want in draft. So 2 questions. I’ll answer the second one first. I DO NOT, under ANY circumstance, want quarterback, safety or running back chosen in the first three rounds. I think the Saints are fine with the guys they have, though I wouldn’t be against drafting those positions for depth especially if they can help on special teams later on. Top 3 free agents… man, I would love to have Ladarius Green on this team. I’m with you there. I’m not going to list the best players because the Saints won’t land them. I’ll tell you three realistic guys for the Saints, though: Green, Tracy Porter (yes, seriously) and Terrance Knighton. There are so many CB’s and DT’s in free agency and the draft that could help this team, though, so take your pick really.

It all starts with the Brees deal. The cap outlook for 2016 changes significantly if that deal gets tweaked. The Saints are almost exactly even with the cap right now, slightly under, after cutting all those players and Ellerbe’s price cut. They could easily create $10 million in cap space or more by giving Brees an extension. Extend Morstead too, cut Colston, and you might be looking at more than $15 million in cap room. Turn Cam Jordan’s salary into bonus and you could be at over $20 million in cap space. They can’t be irresponsible but they’ll have some money to play around with. They don’t even need to touch Brees’s deal for that, but they have so much more flexibility to add talent this year if they do.

Patrick Robinson, come on home! Tracy Porter? I’ll take you too! Reggie Bush? Meh. Marcedes Lewis tempts me a little bit if Benjamin Watson retires and they can’t land someone better like Ladarius Green. Brandon Mebane is a vet that might not be awfully priced at 31. I’ve always thought he was a highly underrated part of that Seattle defense. I’d like to see them add a bunch of cheap veteran guys for depth and see if they can make the roster in training camp.

Andrew Juge

About Andrew Juge

I write about football.