5 Upcoming Free Agents I Covet
1. Carl Nicks, G - Nicks is #1 on my list, I don't know that the Saints can afford to pay him with all the guys set to sign new deals. Being able to bring him in as a FA would be huge because it gives us more flexibility with that #1 pick. Or hell, if he's there, take DeCastro anyway. A man can dream.
2. Cliff Avril, OLB - Currently he plays DE for the Lions, but I loved him coming out of college. He's a Perdue man like Spencer, and they both had that tweener things going for them. Avril has made a pretty good living as a DE, but I think he has the athleticism to play OLB in a 3-4 as well. He's actually a better athlete than Spencer, but perhaps lacks a touch of the raw strength that Spencer has but he's just 26 years old.
3. Ben Grubbs, G - Grubbs is not as flashing a name as Nicks, which could be great for us when it comes time to write a check. A former tight end and defensive line player, Grubbs fits the mold of what we're trying to do here as far as athletic linemen that can move and get to the 2nd level, so he may actually be a smarter acquisition than Nicks. Fun fact: He's left handed so perhaps a pretty natural fit at LG.
4. Cortland Finnegan, CB - Finnegan can be a knucklehead, he plays with a chip and isn't afraid to play as close to the line as you can go without being considered outright dirty. That rubs a lot of people wrong, especially opposing receivers. He gets under their skin, he gets in their head and he takes pleasure in doing it. I don't mind that at all. What I DO mind is all the unsportsmanlike penalties. Let me be clear, he may have the #4 spot, but I don't want him here if he's going to be more trouble that he's worth. There's no denying the guy can play.
5. Paul Soliai, NT - As long as there's a drum to beat, I'll keep beating it. I want to see what this defense looks like with a "true" NT. Ratliff is a fantastic player that gets a free window seat to Hawaii just about every year, but so was Gurode. I very much want Ratliff to continue being a key cog in this defense, I just happen to think he can still do that at DE. We're running around looking for DE's that can pass rush, and we already have the best one in the entire league on the roster. I honestly couldn't care less about Rat's pro bowl invites, they are certainly a great personal achievement, what I care about is what's best for the defense and the team. If Ratliff never goes to another pro bowl but the defense improves, I will shed no tears.
BONUS: 6. Terrell Thomas, CB - Thomas tore an ACL in August, so I don't even know when he will be ready to go full speed but let's assume he can get healthy sooner rather than later. Thomas, unlike a lot of our corners, is a bigger, more physical corner. He might actually give us the legit option of pressing receivers, but he does it all. He defends passes, gets picks, forces fumbles, tackles and he's just 26 years old. If we want to get more physical on defense, it doesn't hurt to bring that to the corners as well.
Calias Campbell should obviously be on this list, but I think he has about as much chance of hitting the market as Drew Brees. They can't afford to lose him. If he does somehow manage to shake loose, then he probably lands at #2 on my list, under just Nicks.
We need wins, and that's all we need. I don't give a damn about anyone on this roster over wins. I'd trade Ware, Lee and Dez if it meant more wins.