Originally Posted by St. Richard
The re-signing of Bryant solidifies the Saints' depth at defensive end and I believe it does make the trade of Howard easier for the Saints to manage. But I don't see how the Saints' asking price would be dropped because they re-signed a depth player. The Saints have the cap room to keep him if they desired or they could trade him if the right deal came along. But the right deal wouldn't be to take less than what they feel is fair for a pass-rushing, run-stopping, high character guy who really doesn't want to leave. If it weren't for the fact that they drafted Will Smith in 2004 as the best player available, the Saints wouldn't have the surplus they have at DE and they wouldn't consider trading him. Yes, clearing his cap figure would help them re-sign other players, but isn't putting the best team on the field the main objective? If I were the Saints GM, I'd find a way to keep him and make my defensive coordinator figure out how to get Grant, Howard and Smith on the field at the same [View Full Quote]time (as they did on passing downs last season).
Now why again would the Saints' asking price for Howard go down?
The point is they will have 10.4 million invested in three DEs alone for 2005, this does not include Bryants contract which will bump it up further dependent on rule 51.
The point is that having vested two first rounders recently, with DHs 7 million in addition to Bryant plus any other DE salary on the books...it is simply way too much vested by way of picks, $$$ and cap space that limits what the SAints can do in FA especially since they cannot negotiate with DH on a long term deal until July 15. This would eliminate them from adding any June 1 FAs as well and lock up a significant amout of cap $$$ that could be wiped out if traded.
The Bryant signing in and of itself does not mean they have to unload DH, but it does mean they have way too much money vested in the DE position in general (10-11 million) and in backup DEs in particular ( 7-8 million) which is more than both their starters combined...(2.6 million).
That my friend is prohibitive especially since thay can get something back for DH and wipe most if not all of his salary off the books!!