We can all be honest; Roman Harper served a blitz-happy role for the New Orleans Saints under ex-defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. But overall as a strong safety, he was quite poor.
However, extending him this past week can actually be a positive for the Saints as there are much worse moves to make than adjusting cap space for the immediate future while adding veteran depth in the secondary.
“My understanding is that Roman Harper is now signed through 2015, so he tacked on an extra year to his deal. Should help Saints cap-wise,” tweeted NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
The first-round selection of Kenny Vaccaro, who could realistically end up playing a mix of free safety, strong safety and nickel corner, could actually create more of a need for Harper than less. This type of presence to go along with Malcolm Jenkins fails to threaten Vaccaro in any way but is supplementing a rookie with veteran depth.
“(Former Saints safety Darren) Sharper always told me everything always comes full circle,” Harper said, via NOLA.com. “He was kind of my mentor and now I’m trying to do the same thing. I just hope I can do as well as he did.”
Some commenters on that article did raise a conflicting point rather well, which was along the lines of “Harper as an example?!?” Fair enough, but there’s also the theory that retaining some continuity while adding in promising key young pieces like Vaccaro and cornerback Keenan Lewis could prove the right combo for a secondary in transition under defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.
Between the box-attacking Harper, deep coverage of Jenkins and do-it-all presence of Vaccaro, the Saints’ safety unit should bounce back in 2013.
The only direction really is up.