The New Orleans Saints might not have as controversial an offseason as they did last season but there will be plenty to do. General manager Mickey Loomis will have to do his best to solidify the Saints’ roster and bring back key guys. This will not be an easy task considering the Saints are currently sitting at $140.2 million with 55 players under contract.
Despite having one of the highest payrolls in the NFL the Saints must re-sign key players. One player that the Saints must retain is offensive tackle Jermon Bushrod. Bushrod is Drew Brees’ left tackle and he does a good job of protecting his quarterback.
Bushrod made $3.25 million this past season and he will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. Bushrod should be expected to get a nice pay raise as plenty of teams will be after his services. Loomis needs to re-sign Bushrod this offseason because talented left tackles do not just grow on trees. Furthermore, Brees has already said that he wanted Bushrod to be back next year.
When asked about the challenge of re-signing Bushrod Loomis had this to say,
“Jermon Bushrod’s an UFA who’s a good player. It’s going to be subject to what his perceived market is and what we’re able to do. He’s the No. 1 tough deal.”
Loomis knows it will be difficult to re-sign Bushrod but he also understands that it will be a top priority for the Saints. Loomis and the Saints went through some salary cap restraints last season but he was able to bring most of the players that he needed.
This offseason Loomis will obviously have to restructure some contracts and credate as much flexibility for some of the Saints’ free agents. If the Saints can re-sign Bushrod I would expect him to get between $5-$7 million a year on his new contract. However, depending on the market and the desperation level of other teams seeking an LT Bushrod could get a bigger contract elsewhere.
When it is all said and done the Saints definitely need to do their best to bring Bushrod back. It won’t be easy and they might lose him on the open market but hopefully Loomis can work some of his “magic” that Saints’ fans have grown accustomed to.