Three years ago, the Saints traded Jimmy Graham and a mid-round draft pick to the Seahawks for center Max Unger and the No. 31 overall pick, which turned into linebacker Stephone Anthony. Today, Unger looks like the best piece of that blockbuster deal, Larry Holder of the Times-Picayune writes.
Even as he enters his tenth NFL season, Unger stands as one of the better centers in the NFL. The 32-year-old has two years to go on his contract with the Saints, and if he maintains his level of play, Holder sees no reason why he won’t finish his career in New Orleans.
Unger’s yearly average of $7.4MM per year may sound pricey, but the center market has advanced to the point where he is just 12th in terms of AAV at the position. It’s unlikely that a 34-year-old Unger would command a significantly higher rate, so the Saints could easily move forward with Unger beyond 2019 if they are still happy with his work.
For what it’s worth, Unger garnered the worst Pro Football Focus score of his career in 2017 and graded out as just the 24th best center in the NFL. But, in 2016, he was PFF’s No. 14 center in the league. The Oregon product also boasts two Pro Bowl nods (2012, 2013) and one First-Team All-Pro selection (2012) on his resume.
Here’s more from the South divisions:
- The training camp battle between Titans running backs David Fluellen and Akrum Wadley is one to keep an eye on, Jim Wyatt of Titans Online writes. Wadley, a UDFA out of Iowa, has flashed during practices and is making a strong case to make the cut. However, Wyatt would be surprised if anyone beats Fluellen out for a spot on the roster given his special teams ability. Ultimately, however, Wadley can make the cut if the Titans opt to carry four running backs on their Week 1 roster.
- Meanwhile, the Titans have a dozen receivers in camp and no more than half of those players will make the final cut. Wyatt writes that the Titans will be keeping Corey Davis, Rishard Matthews, Tajae Sharpe, and Taywan Taylor, but the rest of the WR depth chart is in flux. Former Ravens receiver Michael Campanaro looked good in the preseason before suffering an injury, so he has a chance to be a contributor for the team this fall if he can stay healthy. After that, it sounds like Darius Jennings, Jordan Veasy, Deontay Burnett, and Devin Ross have the upper hand over Cameron Batson and Brandon Shippen. Teams will sometimes carry six wide receivers on the Week 1 roster, but it’s certainly possible that the Titans will only carry five into September.
- This week, two separate lawsuits were filed against Jaguars defensive tackle Marcell Dareus for sexual assault.