In the midst of the players union and owners not setting on their differences with a possible lockout on the horizon, the 2010 World Champions New Orleans Saints have over 20 players scheduled to enter the Free Agency market, many of which were key to the building of the elite franchise the last few seasons.
Atop the to-do list is reaching a long-term extension with the leader of the franchise, on and off-the-field, Drew Brees. Though General Manager Mickey Loomis didn't get into the exact time frame, he expressed confidence this week during the Senior Bowl practices on ESPN that the deal will get done this off-season.
The deadline for a contract extension on Drew Brees is March 3, 2011, before the possible lockout that fumes between the labor unions. I believe both sides need to settle their differences and come to an understanding. It's starting to get ridiculous, almost to the point where they're acting like children in a playground. The discussion could become a bind that results in restructuring the contracts to a degree of star players like Drew Brees and running back Reggie Bush, who's also scheduled to become a Free Agent in the offseason. In either case, each of the players are being evaluated are still a significant organization for the Saints.
Funny thing is—FOX Sports reports the Saints may not be so sure about keeping the star back due to his recent injuries. Bush has publicly said he's willing to re-negotiate his exorbitant rookie contract to remain in New Orleans, Fox Sports reports. It all remains to be seen on what will unveil in the next few months. On the flip side, an there are a couple things not supporting Bush. He has not had a 16-game season in five years and owed $11.8 million in 2011. In essence, New Orleans needs more durability coming from the RB position and Bush hasn't exemplified stability at tailback. Nonetheless, his strength has still made him one of the best multi-dimensional backs in the NFL, when healthy.
Mickey Loomis indicated due to the many injuries at running back, he's evaluating everyone—Pierre Thomas, Chris Ivory, Landell Bettis and Reggie Bush. But the only thing the statement indicates is there's still a lot to be done. This is just the beginning of many of the offseason moves the organization will be inspecting for the upcoming season. Adding some new faces to both sides of the ball can become a good thing for the Saints, especially if they decide to retain their many pieces like Brees, Thomas and Bush.