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Saints have 29 free agents

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The extensive offseason workouts led by Saints quarterback Drew Brees created optimism regarding the team’s ability to navigate the unique challenges of the 2011 season and get back to the Super Bowl.

Now that the lockout has ended and the NFL has published the full list of free agents, the Saints may be attempting to win their second championship in three years with a much different cast of characters.

The Saints have 29 free agents.

The team’s 26 unrestricted free agents are nose tackle Remi Ayodele, running back Ladell Betts, tackle Jermon Bushrod, defensive end Jeff Charleston, linebacker Danny Clark, fullback Heath Evans, defensive back Matt Giordano, center Jonathan Goodwin, defensive tackle Tony Hargrove, defensive back Roman Harper, tight end Tory Humphrey, running back Julius Jones, linebacker Kawika Mitchell, linebacker Marvin Mitchell, receiver Lance Moore, defensive back Pierson Prioleau, defensive back Chris Reis, receiver Courtney Roby, linebacker Scott Shanle, safety Darren Sharper, tackle Zach Strief, linebacker David Thomas, defensive back Leigh Torrence, defensive tackle Jimmy Wilkerson, running back DeShawn Wynn, and defensive back Usama Young.

Guard Carl Nicks, rated by his peers as the 55th best player in the game, is a restricted free agent with a first-round compensation level.

Joining those 27 are linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar and linebacker Anthony Waters.

Like many teams in the weeks before the lockout, the Saints made no effort to sign any of their looming free agents.  A cynic would say this was more about keeping the money in the teams’ pockets (and out of the players’ pockets) than it was about making good football decisions.

With a training-camp roster limit of 90 players this year and with so many guys unsigned, G.M. Mickey Loomis and company will be earning their keep, and then some, this week.

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32 Responses to “Saints have 29 free agents”
  1. gdeli says: Jul 25, 2011 7:12 PM

    screw the saints and the goons that hacked farve. If the qb gets hit, he gets hit, but do it FAIRLY. I LMAO watching their debackle last january. Great payback. Good luck vikes, you’re gonna need it. truth.

  2. skoobyfl says: Jul 25, 2011 7:13 PM

    I’d plan on the Saints having basically a new team with Brees at the helm.

  3. 808raiderinparadise says: Jul 25, 2011 7:15 PM

    i got 29 problems but a B&*^$ aint one

  4. everydayimfumbilin says: Jul 25, 2011 7:16 PM

    wow

  5. vdaigglesfan says: Jul 25, 2011 7:17 PM

    Payton will have so many practice squad types in camp, he’ll be saying “who dat?” all camp.

  6. melonnhead says: Jul 25, 2011 7:27 PM

    I’d give up a first for Nicks. Dude’s a proven monster and still only 26. You couldn’t get a more sure thing out of the draft.

  7. elyasm says: Jul 25, 2011 7:33 PM

    David Thomas is a tight end, not a linebacker. The only reason I know this is because he was drafted by the Patriots to replace Benjamin ‘Stone Hands’ Watson. Solid player, not sure why they let him go.

  8. packhawk04 says: Jul 25, 2011 7:35 PM

    Hey gdeli, ill bet theres a lot of people that enjoyed favre and the vikings debacle last january too… And september, october, november, and december as well.

  9. melonnhead says: Jul 25, 2011 7:37 PM

    screw the saints and the goons that hacked farve. If the qb gets hit, he gets hit, but do it FAIRLY. I LMAO watching their debackle last january. Great payback. Good luck vikes, you’re gonna need it. truth.

    ———————————————————–

    Uhhh didn’t Jared Allen get fined $50,000 for diving at Matt Schaub’s knees TWICE in a game, blowing Schaub’s MCL in the process not that long ago?

  10. palinforpresidentofnorthkorea says: Jul 25, 2011 7:37 PM

    Great job, Drew! Genius!

  11. pmars64 says: Jul 25, 2011 7:38 PM

    Ha, ha, ha… The Saints/Vikings game still gets comments even 18+ months later. As a Saints fan, I’m not sure if I enjoy the Vikings or Colts win more. I can’t get enough of hearing Paul Allen’s tirade after Favre through the pick. “This isn’t Detroit, man…” I’m going to pop in the dvd of that game again…

    Sorry, but this list of free agents looks a lot worse than it is. There are maybe 3 or 4 players tops among this group that you could call key players. Moore, Bushrod, maybe Sharper and Evans. Even among these, Moore and/or Bushrod might worth keeping around. Moore is clutch and Bushrod was definitely better last year than the previous year. Saints front office has quietly become among the best in roster and personnel management. For all the criticism, they’ve had only one losing season in the last five and that was a seven win season. I’m not worried about this. That said, I’d still like to see a true deep threat added to the roster.

  12. goawayeverybody says: Jul 25, 2011 7:40 PM

    Made no effort???? Mike you’ve been smoking crack! They made a number of signings including Pierre Thomas and Garrett Hartley!

  13. berniemadoffsides says: Jul 25, 2011 7:40 PM

    vdaigglesfan says:
    Jul 25, 2011 7:17 PM
    Payton will have so many practice squad types in camp, he’ll be saying “who dat?” all camp.

    ————

    That’s pretty good… lol

  14. snnyjcbs says: Jul 25, 2011 7:45 PM

    Making Al Davis look smarter by the minute when he resigned many of the players he wanted to keep prior to the Lockout.

    All these teams will put on a good face but many are going to lose players that they really wanted to keep by the bushel.

    They say Nnamdi will be staying at home with his Oakland Raiders as well. Who is they?, people very close to him. These other teams will be very busy just trying to hold onto their own players. Fire Sale?, a sale implies you are receiving something in return, many teams are going to be raided by other teams and get nothing.

  15. letmesetyoustraight says: Jul 25, 2011 7:49 PM

    There are only a couple on that list that are high priority signings – Bushrod and Moore. A few they would like to have back but won’t overpay for – Harper, Goodwin and Thomas.

    They probaly go after Rocky McIntosh to replace Shanle. I think it’s a buyers market with so many free agents available. Good value to be had after the first wave of high priced contracts.

  16. eaglesdynasty says: Jul 25, 2011 7:53 PM

    Jermon Bushrod and Roman Harper would be the two unrestricted guys I would immediately try to wrap up before they test the FA waters. You dont want to lose a solid, experienced starting offensive tackle when the position is thin as far as depth goes and you run a 60%+ pass happy offense.

    Jonathon Goodwin would be a smart re-signing as well.

    the Saints also should get a 4-5 year deal done with Nicks sooner rather than later…..his price will only increase if you wait until next season and the last thing you want is to have to compete with other bidders in free agency if you wait until next season or risk having to pay him 15 million for one season after being franchised twice in a row.

    Nicks was the single best guard overall in the NFL in 2010, hes young, proven, determined with no injury issues and solid character. wrap him up now because his price will only go up and the Saints are in a position of strength in negotaiating having him under the thumb of the franchise tag so his options are really non-exsistant for this offseason…..next offseason is a different monster though.

    Kids earned it imo…..pay him like a top 3 OG

  17. drewtip76 says: Jul 25, 2011 7:58 PM

    Give up, move to the City of Industry.

  18. reggiebush25 says: Jul 25, 2011 7:59 PM

    Get over it buddy!!!!! The Vikes need to go play in the canadian league!!!!

  19. nps6724 says: Jul 25, 2011 8:00 PM

    gdeli says: Jul 25, 2011 7:12 PM

    screw the saints and the goons that hacked farve. If the qb gets hit, he gets hit, but do it FAIRLY. I LMAO watching their debackle last january. Great payback. Good luck vikes, you’re gonna need it. truth.

    —————————————————-

    Great payback? I’ll trade a Super Bowl win for a 1st-round road loss to a lesser opponent the following year every single time.

    On-topic, Danny Clark, Matt Giordano, Tory Humphrey, Julius Jones, Kawika Mitchell, and DeShawn Wynn were only on the team due to the numerous injuries the Saints suffered last year. They weren’t gonna be re-signed with or without a lockout. And guys like Usama Young, Jo-Lonn Dunbar, Anthony Waters, Pierson Prioleau, Zach Strief, Leigh Torrence, Jimmy Wilkerson, Jeff Charleston, Marvin Mitchell, and Chris Reis are nothing but backups who could be easily replaced if they wish not to re-sign.

    The only important names on that list are Jermon Bushrod, Roman Harper, Johnathan Goodwin, Lance Moore, David Thomas, and Carl Nicks with Scott Shanle, Darren Sharper, Heath Evans, and Remi Ayodele on the next tier.

  20. pacificnw7722 says: Jul 25, 2011 8:05 PM

    Seahawks GM John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll must be licking their chops with ALL the cap room they have!

  21. bigfog says: Jul 25, 2011 8:05 PM

    but, but, but – they all got together this offseason and won the offseason championship for being super pals and working out together!

  22. Burritto says: Jul 25, 2011 8:23 PM

    29 is a lot, but it’s almost our 29 worst players. Lots of decisions to make, but mostly matters of depth.

  23. nolanorth says: Jul 25, 2011 8:24 PM

    I count only 10 that I’m set on keeping!!

  24. stanklepoot says: Jul 25, 2011 8:32 PM

    “Like many teams in the weeks before the lockout, the Saints made no effort to sign any of their looming free agents. A cynic would say this was more about keeping the money in the teams’ pockets (and out of the players’ pockets) than it was about making good football decisions.”
    _________________________________
    Considering the high number of teams that put themselves in a very similar position by refusing to even attempt to negotiate with soon-to-be free agents, you don’t need to be a cynic to think this had more to do with labor unrest than football operations. You simply have to be capable of logical thought.

  25. youboettcha says: Jul 25, 2011 8:34 PM

    Wouldn’t it have been easier to write who remains on the team?

  26. thegonz13 says: Jul 25, 2011 8:35 PM

    OK, so basically, half the roster is free agents!

  27. dkeyser says: Jul 25, 2011 8:36 PM

    29 FA’s with only roughly half that should be re-signed…at least 7 were replacement guys who were signed after guys got hurt….another 5 are backups, and expendable ones at that…The team will be fine

  28. goawayeverybody says: Jul 25, 2011 8:37 PM

    Here’s the list of players the Saints must have back:

    Lance Moore
    Roman Harper
    Remi Ayodele
    Marvin Mitchell
    Carl Nicks
    Jonathan Goodwin

    I would really love to have all those players back, but I believe the six I mentioned above are probably the most effective.

  29. goawayeverybody says: Jul 25, 2011 9:05 PM

    Btw, Mike neglects to mention that the Saints had almost exactly the same amount of free agents last year. Also, the incoming field of rookies is far stronger for the Saints than it was last year.

  30. woodyg says: Jul 25, 2011 9:23 PM

    ….. But they sure did look good doing all those ‘agility exercises’ all summer long ……

    Look for the Saints to change over to the ‘Aints’ once again ….. Starts with an old fashioned whooping in GB by the Pack on 9/8 ……

  31. danielfturner says: Jul 26, 2011 7:15 AM

    I’m sure most teams are in the same mess with FA like the Saints….as long as the core is still intacted, it’s gonna be another succefull season for the Saints!!!……”Who Dat!!”

  32. cscfriarbob says: Jul 26, 2011 11:30 AM

    The Saints have 29 free agents, oh that’s terrible! They’re gonna suck!

    Oh wait, there are only 3 or 4 guys on that list that are actually important to keep (and none of which are truly irreplaceable). For that matter, less than 10 are even worth keeping in the first place.

    Yawn.

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