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5 New Orleans Saints Who Must Be Kicked To The Curb Before Free Agency

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5 New Orleans Saints Who Must Be Kicked To The Curb Before Free Agency

New Orleans Saints
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The New Orleans Saints are a team that is in the process of figuring out who they are. Now four years removed from their Super Bowl win, they’re a contender on the verge of falling out of the picture. They’ve had success the last few years, but their roster has been ravaged by the effects of time and the almighty salary cap.

New Orleans already made several tough cuts this offseason to get themselves under the cap. But for a team that wants to squeeze another title out of Drew Brees, they need to make sure they continue to clear cap space so they can keep as much talent around him as possible. And that talent isn’t going to come cheap.

The big name for them this offseason is tight end Jimmy Graham. One of the best playmakers in the league, signing him to a long-term deal isn’t going to come at a team-friendly price. For a team fighting to stay above water against the cap, finding any spots they can save a few dollars is key.

This is going to be an important offseason for the Saints. They’ve already shown that they have what it takes to make the hard decisions that are best for the team but might be tough from a public relations standpoint. They need to keep making cuts so they can maximize the talent that they have to make another run at a title.

These are the five players that New Orleans must cut ties with before free agency begins.

Ben Sullivan is an NFL writer for Follow him on Twitter @bensullivan52, "Like" him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.

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5. Pierre Thomas

Pierre Thomas New Orleans Saints
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Running back is one of the easiest positions in the league to find cheap. As long as you have a good offensive line blocking for them, there are plenty of capable runners looking for an opportunity. Pierre Thomas has been good in the past, but he comes with a $2.9 million cap number this year and has taken a lot of punishment already in his career.

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4. Robert Meachem

Robert Meachem New Orleans Saints
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Wide receiver Robert Meachem came back over to the Saints last season after spending a year with the San Diego Chargers. Meachem, a free agent this offseason, only caught 16 balls for 324 yards in 2014. The Saints have two young receivers — Nick Toon and Kenny Stills — they can bring up and give more playing time to with Meachem gone.

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3. Patrick Robinson

Patrick Robinson New Orleans Saints
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Former first-round pick Patrick Robinson is coming off a major injury and due to make $2.8 million against the cap in 2014. He hasn't played well in New Orleans and is looking like he might go down as a bust. He could still have something to offer a team but not at an almost $3 million cap hit.

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2. Ben Watson

Ben Watson New Orleans Saints
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This one isn't about money; it's about an older player who can't get the job done anymore. Ben Watson, who is slated to be the backup tight end next year, is 33-years-old and only had 19 receptions for two touchdowns last year. Guys his age don't get better -- they only get worse. The Saints can find that kind of production in a cheaper, younger player who might have some future upside.

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1. Mark Ingram

Mark Ingram New Orleans Saints
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Mark Ingram has been a lightning rod of differing opinions since the Saints took him in the first round of the 2011 draft. The former Heisman winner will never live up to that billing, mostly because very few backs are worth that kind of investment anymore. One thing we should all be willing to agree on is that he's not worth the $2.4 million cap hit he comes with next season.