It’s hard being a Saints fan during the offseason. Especially when some of your favorite veterans are released from the team. Yesterday the Saints released both veteran WR Lance Moore and versatile RB Darren Sproles.
With the loss of these two great players it’s clear to see two things: 1.) The Saints are committed to keeping Jimmy Graham and 2.) the youth movement has begun in New Orleans. With the fact that Jimmy Graham and the Saints are still a ways apart in contract negotiations.
Graham was franchise tagged as a TE which comes with a price of about $9.5 Million. Graham was not happy with this decision because he wanted to be paid like a WR which franchise price is about $11.5 Million.
Releasing Lance Moore and Darren Sproles frees up about $7.5 Million for the team to work with, whether it’s for Graham, other free agents, or upcoming draft picks. Either way it’s clear to see the Saints have decided to move in a new, youthful direction.
Behind Marques Colston, the Saints have Kenny Stills, Joe Morgan, Nick Toon at the WR postion. All 3 are in their early to mid 20s. As far as the RBs are concerned, behind Pierre Thomas, the Saints still have Mark Ingram, Khiry Robinson, and Travaris Cadet. All of which are younger than 25.
Couple that with a defense who also has a nucleus of young talent and you have a team that will still be very effective come late season. Don’t be surprised if veteran players like Pierre Thomas and Victor Butler are released within the next few days to further solidify this theory.
The Saints are planning on using the model that they originally founded several years ago: Draft well, pick up good lesser known talent from small schools, build a good football organization.
So to everyone that’s in a panic, just relax. Breathe. The Saints will do the right thing, it may not be popular, but it’s the best for the organization.