After receiver Lance Moore opted to re-sign with the Saints as a free agent, a league source told PFT that Moore turned down more money elsewhere in order to stay with the Saints.
Another league source tells PFT that, when receiver Marques Colston hits the open market in March, he won’t be giving the Saints a hometown discount.
Colston, a seventh-round pick in 2006 from Hofstra who rocketed to NFL stardom, has served for several years as the top target on a deep and potent passing attack. In 2008, he signed a modest three-year extension to his rookie deal, and his contract expires after the current season.
With quarterback Drew Brees in line for the franchise tag, the Saints will have no way to restrict Colston’s movement. And he intends to go to the highest bidder, regardless of whether that’s not the Saints.
The inevitable placement of the franchise tag on Brees also ties the Saints hands regarding receiver Robert Meachem, who has shown flashes of brilliance while otherwise sharing reps and looks with Devery Henderson, Moore, Darren Sproles, and Jimmy Graham.
And while we think that Brees deserves to be paid like one of the top two or three quarterbacks in the league (because, you know, he’s one of the top two or three quarterbacks in the league), it will be harder for Brees to persuade Colston or Meachem to take less than they could get elsewhere at a time when Brees is trying to maximize his own financial haul. Besides, Brees may not be inclined to even try unless and until he gets a long-term deal.
That’s why the smartest approach for the Saints arguably would be to bite the bullet and pay Brees, and then to use the franchise tag on Colston.