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New Orleans Saints restricted free agent safety Rafael Bush signs offer sheet with Atlanta

Rafael+Bush+Miami+Dolphins+v+New+Orleans+Saints+PnK32Q6e4aClNew Orleans Saints restricted free agent safety  Rafael Bush signs an offer sheet with the Atlanta Falcons. The  Saints will have until April 8 to match the offer or Bush will become a member of the Falcons.

The Saints issued a $1.4 million tender earlier this off-season.

The team is 2,206,141 under the cap, so it will be very difficult for the Saints to offer more than that.

On Wednesday, the Saints signed Canadian Football League Safety Marcus Ball to a three-year contract. This could signal that the Saints are moving away from Bush.  The Ball signing became official on Thursday. The Saints now have three safeties, Jaruis Byrd, Kenny Vaccaro and Ball. The Saints released safeties Roman Harper and Malcolm Jenkins earlier this off-season. Harper is now with the Panthers and Jenkins is with the Eagles.

Bush played a significant role as the third safety  in the Saints 4-2-5 defensive alignment.  This past season Bush racked up 42 total tackles five pass defenses and played in 13 games (six starts).

The Saints got Bush from Denver shortly after training camp cuts in 2012. Bush started his NFL career  as an undrafted rookie free agent with the Falcons on their practice squad.

Even though i do like Bush’s talents, i believe this is the right move. The Saints need to save as much money as possible to re-sign Jimmy Graham to a long term deal. The best bet for that is to part way with Bush and sign Ball who currently has a much smaller contract money wise.  I do wish him luck in the future eventhough he will go to the Saints rival in Atlanta if the Saints don’t match the offer sheet he signed with Atlanta. Like i said above i doubt the Saints will match the offer sheet because they are barely under the cap.

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New Orleans Saints cap cutting continues.

ImageThe New Orleans Saints have released wide receiver Lance Moore in an effort to get under the salary cap. Moore is the fifth Saints veteran released this off season.

Earlier this off season, the Saints released Jabari Greer, Roman Harper, Will Smith and Johnathan Vilma. It is also rumored than Darren Sproles will be gone too. Eventhough these moves seem surprising, they were also necessary for the Saints to be able to get under the salary cap of $133 million. Recently the Saints have place an non-exclusive franchise tag on Jimmy Graham.The price tag for tight ends is about $7 million. If he files grievance to be tagged as a wide receiver that amount will jump to around $12 million. The Saints are trying to work on a long-term deal with Jimmy Graham which will probably make him the highest paid tight end in the  history of the NFL.

The Saints have also placed a $1.4 million restricted free agent tendor on safety Rafael Bush. The Saints will need to clear more cap room if they want to resign free agents Zach Strief, Malcolm Jenkins, and Brian De la Puente. So with the Saints having so little  cap room they had no choice, but to release veterans to clear more space.

The only Saints that remain under contract from the 2009 super bowl season are Drew Brees, Marques Colston, Pierre Thomas, Thomas Moorestead, Jahari Evans, and  Robert Meachem. Zach Strief and Malcolm Jenkins are set to become free agents on March 11.

The unofficial start of free agency is tomorrow, where teams can negotiate contracts with their soon to be free agents. This period lasts three days. Free agency will officialy start March 11 at 4:00 pm eastern time.

Will the saints cut anyone else, will they attempt to negotiate contracts with potential free agents? Stay tuned who dat nation, it will be an interesting next few days,

Let the New Orleans Saints salary cap cutting begin

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Atlanta Falcons v New Orleans Saints

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Last week i said some players will have to be cut soon in order to get under the cap limit, because the Saints were way over the cap limit. 12-15 million. This week the New Orleans Saints start trimming salary cap in a push to sign Jimmy Graham and other potential free agents. Some of the notable guys who got cut are as follows: cornerback Jabari Greer, Outside Linebacker Will Smith, safety Roman Harper, and middle linebacker Johnathan Vilma, all of whom were with the Saints during the 2009-2010 Super Bowl winning team.

I expected that these were the players that were going to get cut.

They are aging and all have had major injury concerns throughout their career. These decisions are tough, but it was needed to get the Saints under cap. I think their under the cap limit as of now, but more cap space is needed to sign or franchise tag free-agent Jimmy Graham.

Those players were receiving major money this season Will Smith $11.55 million, Roman Harper  $3.15 million, and Jabari Greer $4.55 million.  Unfortunately, the Saints will have a$ 6.5 million cap penalty, due to the signing bonuses. When a player gets cut before his contract is up, the player is still owed his signing bonus.

It will be interesting who General Manager Mickey Loomis will cut next.

In my opinion, Drew Brees needs to restructure his deal which is worth $100 million. This year he is set to make about $18 million with a cap hit of $18.4 million. Cap hit is how much of the cap room a player takes up. His contract in it’s peak stages which means the cap hit will go up next year. So if the Saints don’t restructure his contract then the Saints will run into more problems along the road.

Franchise tagging Jimmy Graham brings tough decisions to the New Orleans Saints.

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saintsa

New York Giants v New Orleans Saints

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