He has done really well protecting Drew Brees and opening up running lanes for the running backs. Strief, 30 took over the starting offensive tackle position in 2011. The 2011 and 2013 seasons had to be his best so far. He has allowed three sacks in 15 starts. He struggled in 2011 due to a groin injury. Strief is a seventh-round pick out of Northwestern. He has been selected as captain the past two years.
I really think this is great news, because it guarantees he will be sticking around for awhile. The offensive line has struggled a little bit this year. It seemed to me that Brees was sacked more this season to previous seasons. Having a good offensive line is key, because you can’t pass or run the ball without a good offensive line. Plus quarterbacks are highly paid now compared to 10-15 years ago, so you want to make sure that your high paid quarterback stays off his back and off the injury report.
Now all the Saints need is to come to terms with Brian De la Puente who is a free agent and listening to other teams offers. Like i always say “In Loomis We Trust” He always seems to make things happen.
The New Orleans Saints have many decisions to make during this off-season. One of those decisions is whether to franchise tag All-Pro tight end Jimmy Graham or not. Franchise tagging is basically a one year deal that binds the player to their current team payout is based on position. Graham is listed as a tight end, but most of the time he lines up as a slot wide receiver. So the question is will he be considered a tight end or a wide receiver for franchise tagging purposes? The tight end amount is 6.8 million while the wide receiver amount is 11.6 million. So, obviously the Saints will want to sign him for the tight end amount and Jimmy Graham would want the wide receiver amount. The New Orleans Saints have from February 17th till March 3rd to franchise tag Jimmy Graham. If a long term deal isn’t done by then, there is no doubt in my mind that the Saints will franchise tag Jimmy Graham.
The problem is even if the Saints are able to sign Graham to the tight end amount the Saints don’t have that type of money. The Saints are way above the cap limit for the 2014-2015 season and it’s possible that there isn’t enough room for other soon to be free agents which include: Malcolm Jenkins, Zach Strief, and Brian De la Puente. To get under the cap some players may need to be cut, some of those players include: Will Smith, Pierre Thomas, Roman Harper, and Lance Moore.
These decisions are tough meanwhile keeping Jimmy Graham is an easy call, just a very costly one.
In my opinion, resigning or franchise tagging Jimmy Graham needs to be number one priority. No matter what it takes the Saints need to make this happen. Graham has said he doesn’t want to play for any other quarterback than Drew Brees. Who could blame him, they bring out the best in each other. Not only is Jimmy Graham important to the Saints on the field, he is just as important off the field. The Saints fans including myself adore Jimmy Graham. He is as great off the field as he is on. He is always willing to sign autographs and take pictures with fans after the game. That’s a show of true character. Jimmy Graham is one of a kind.
Jimmy Graham 2013 season stats
86 catches, 1,215 yards, 16 touchdowns