We’re now just a little over 24 hours until the free agency period starts, which means we could be bidding adieu to both Carl Nicks and Marques Colston this week. I believe Nicks will sign a deal in the first 48 hours of free agency because teams will throw money at him immediately. I’m sure a team or two will throw a ridiculous offer at him but say “we’re pulling this off the table if you don’t sign right away”, which may force his hand into a quick decision. I believe Colston may take a tad longer because he’ll actually get an offer from the Saints that gives him pause and I wouldn’t be surprised if he took more of a tour of NFL cities before deciding.
NFL trade rumors lists their top 50 free agents of this 2012 class, and Carl Nicks comes in at #4 while Colston comes in just behind him at 5. Also on this list at #33 is Robert Meachem.
The following players will be free to entertain offers from all 32 teams starting at 4pm tomorrow:
DE Jeff Charleston
WR Marques Colston
DT Aubrayo Franklin
LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar
K John Kasay
T Pat McQuistan
WR Robert Meachem
G Carl Nicks
CB Tracy Porter
DT Shaun Rogers
The Saints also have 3 restricted free agents: QB Chase Daniel, LB Ramon Humber and LB Jonathan Casillas. They have already tendered Casillas, which means they can match any offer he receives, but Humber and Daniel have yet to be tendered. That means they could become unrestricted if the Saints choose not to tender them. That doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t want them back, that may just mean they believe they can re-sign them for less than the lowest tender. It’s a gamble, but neither are crucial enough to the roster, given the cap status, so there’s no point in breaking the bank on them. If they come back at the league minimum, then great.
Lastly, Drew Brees is of course a franchised player tendered at one year for ~$14 million, but he is not currently under contract.