The Saints have already added some big pieces this offseason in Shaun Rogers to go with first round picks Cameron Jordan and Mark Ingram. So what else does G.M. Mikey Loomis need to do when the lockout ends?
1. Set a reasonable price for Reggie Bush and stick to it.
Coach Sean Payton says he wants to keep Bush and we believe him. Bush was Payton’s first pick in New Orleans and no one believes in him more. Bush needs to take pay cut reflective of his status as an injury-prone role player, especially because the Saints already have Ingram, Pierre Thomas, and Chris Ivory.
We’re not sure if Bush really wants to stay. If he wants more than $4-$5 million a year, let him walk. We’d be surprised if the Saints come up with a new deal before they have to cut him.
2. Bring back Roman Harper.
Despite his struggles in coverage in the playoffs, defensive coordinator Gregg Williams knows how important Harper is to the defense. We’d make Harper a bigger priority than Bush. This should be a no brainer.
3. Re-sign Jonathan Goodwin and/or Jermon Bushrod.
The Saints addressed most of their needs in the draft, but the offensive line remains problematic. Is Charles Brown ready to step at tackle? Is Jonathan Stinchcomb worth keeping? We’d making re-signing center Goodwin a priority to keep the interior line strong.
4. Sign an outside linebacker or two.
Rookie third-round pick Martez Wilson may be more natural on the inside, but the Saints figure to try him outside where two starting jobs are open. Scott Shanle is a free agent and may not be back. Candidates to start outside include JoLonn Dunbar and Jonathan Casillas. There are a lot of injury and experience questions here.
5. Make training camp harder than the lockout.
That could be difficult after the organized workouts Drew Brees and Jonathan Vilma have put together. This is a hungry team with great leadership and continuity whose window for another title should still be wide open.