Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets that he expects the Saints to draft a quarterback in the early rounds of the 2015 draft as they begin to prepare for life after Drew Brees. On top of Brees’ struggles this season, Rapoport adds (via Twitter) that the Saints have watched the 35-year-old’s arm strength wane and therefore must be “prepared for the end.” Former agent Joel Corry, perhaps wondering if New Orleans would go so far as to release Brees after this season, tweets that the All-Pro carries a $26.4MM cap number for 2015 and the Saints have a league-high $161MM in 2015 cap commitments.
However, Rapoport notes (via Twitter) that releasing Brees after 2014 would create $15MM of dead money, a figure that becomes much more palatable if he were to be released following the 2015 season. As such, Rapoport believes it would be better for the Saints to simply draft Brees’ heir apparent and allow him to learn from Brees for at least one season.
Others, though, are more skeptical of Brees’ demise and of the Saints’ ability to draft a suitable replacement in short order. In a pair of tweets, Mike Triplett of ESPN.com writes that the Saints may well draft a quarterback this season, but the team does not feel as though Brees is in a steep decline, that a rookie would have to wait at least two years to be ready to lead the New Orleans offense, and that Brees has never relied on a big arm to be successful, so reports of diminished arm strength are not especially relevant. Former NFL scout Daniel Jeremiah, meanwhile, tweets that the Saints will be hard-pressed to find their future quarterback in this year’s draft.
Now for a few more links from around the league:
- Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune says it is not too soon to accept that the Buccaneers made a mistake with their offseason signings of Anthony Collins and Michael Johnson, whose futures in Tampa Bay are now very much in doubt. Although the Bucs have a little more flexibility with Collins than with Johnson, who would be owed a $4MM roster bonus on March 1 in addition to a $5MM base salary in 2015 (of which $3MM is guaranteed), Tampa Bay could realistically cut both players outright. Regardless of what the Bucs do, they will likely seek upgrades at offensive tackle and defensive end via the draft rather than dive once more into the free agency pool.
- Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald believes the Patriots should retain star cornerback Darrelle Revis, who has been a central figure of the team’s successful 2014 campaign, at all costs.
- Tony Boselli, the former Jaguars great who was drafted by current Giants head coach Tom Coughlin when Coughlin was with Jacksonville, says that the Jaguars’ firing of Coughlin was a “huge mistake,” writes Conor Orr of NFL.com. Boselli believes the Giants would be similarly misguided if they were to fire Coughlin without allowing him to coach through the end of his contract, which expires after the 2015 season.
- Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets that Washington has not spoken with Robert Griffin III regarding his fifth-year option. Although a decision does not have to be made on that option until May, it does not appear as though the team will exercise it at this point.
- Rand Getlin of Yahoo! Sports tweets that 49ers DB Perrish Cox, who is in a contract year, has signed with agent David Mulugheta.
- Though we heard earlier today from ESPN’s Adam Schefter that the Jets and Raiders were interested in pursuing 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh via trade after the season, Schefter does note that some in the organization believe the team could still work out an extension with Harbaugh.
- Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes that the Rams have improved under Jeff Fisher and appear to be on the cusp of being a competitive club, but the histories of Fisher and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer suggest that St. Louis, which has primarily utilized a conservative ball control offense, will not take the next step unless it somehow lands an elite quarterback.