By Andrew Schuster @ShootsMcGavin on April 11, 2014
It's been a pretty dizzy offseason in the Big Easy; a handful of players are coming and going. The Saints parted ways with team veterans like Will Smith, Jonathan Vilma, Roman Harper and several more to free up cap space. Now bringing in an elite safety like Jairus Byrd was an exceptional move, but what about some of the bad moves the Saints have made this offseason? Let's take a look at their five biggest mistakes so far in 2014.
Greer arrived in New Orleans via the Buffalo Bills and won the Super Bowl his first year as a Saint; he's been solid in the black and gold ever since. Greer was off to one of his better years in 2013 until a nasty injury back in November (against the 49ers) ended his season. Releasing Greer helped the team by freeing up some cap space, but the move also took leadership and experience away from that secondary.
Signing Champ Bailey certainly brings the experience and leadership to the team that Jabari Greer took with him. However, paying the aging, injury-prone corner back million over the next two years is a little much. The Champ will be 36 by the time the season kicks off and nobody's sure if he'll even be healthy. A two-year deal worth million sounds a bit more reasonable. Maybe he'll bounce back and prove he was worth the dough.
Losing de la Puente to the Chicago Bears damages the experience on the Saints' offensive line. New Orleans lacks depth at the center position and will now have to turn to the 2014 NFL Draft to find a potential replacement. Other than Pro Bowl guard Jahri Evans, de la Puente has been one of the Saints' most productive lineman since coming on as a starter in the middle of the 2011 season.
Sproles has been a major part of the Saints' offense since arriving via the San Diego Chargers in 2011. He wasn't a dual-threat -- he was a triple-threat. Darren Sproles was a danger to opposing defenses in the pass game, run game and return game. He even broke the record for most all-purpose yards in an NFL season (2011) while in New Orleans. The Philadelphia Eagles are lucky to have him.
The situation has been nothing but a back-and-forth mess in New Orleans. Graham wants to be paid as a receiver, but the Saints want to pay him as a tight end. He is positioned as a tight end, but lines up more as a receiver. Graja, has until the April 22 deadline to file a grievance over the Saints' decision to tag him as a tight end. This whole debacle is a distraction to the team and a long-term deal needs to be reached as soon as possible.
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