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Building a team after signing Graham

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Joined: 02 Mar 2010
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 7:20 pm    Post subject: Building a team after signing Graham Reply with quote

So unless something drastic happens, Jimmy Graham will have a monster year. We're talking potentially having a better year than Gronk did a couple of years back. Record breaking in many regards.

So the question is, how do we build a team after giving him a monster contract? Rest assured, Jimmy Graham will ask for a WR-esque contract. He lined up as a TE for only 28% of the snaps last season, and I doubt he's doing much more this season.

In comparison, Gronk signed a 8 yr/ $55M dollar deal. $8M signing bonus, $13M guaranteed and an average ~$7M/yr.

Jimmy was rumored to have wanted an average ~$10M/yr to start the season. Right now? Who knows.

So my question is this, what steps do you take to build a team around Jimmy. Obviously this will mean certain players' times as Saints will come to an end. But I am curious as to what this board would do.

NFL: New Orleans Saints
NHL: Edmonton Oilers
MLB: Minnesota Twins/ Toronto Blue Jays
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Joined: 23 Dec 2006
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Location: Nawlins
PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 9:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Building a team after signing Graham Reply with quote

Transitioning talent is the art of sustained success in the NFL... Not many franchises have the forward thinking and ability to do this. The NFL is a win now league and most owners, GM's & Head Coaches are only concerned with wining now instead of thinking into the future.

To me this is a mistake, I've stated many times that I believe that all NFL players length of stay with a team is geared around the salary cap more so than the loyalty and emotional connection to a franchise.

So to answer your question... your right. With Graham about to cash in big time and with Brees already having done so, other dominos are likely to fall simply due to the numbers game of the NFL. The Saints will have to make a decision on whether to prolong the transition of top key older high priced players in order to continue to make a few more runs at the superbowl or do they slowly start the process of transitioning from those players in order to have sustained success?

For example... On most Saints fans mock drafts they typically do so with the present thinking of improving the current team to best give us a chance at a superbowl the following season. I however (and this likely would never happen) would prefer a more forward thinking this draft.

THis is a Sean Payton team, offensively minded and the two biggest players with the most value to our current success outside of Jimmy Graham are Drew Brees and Darren Sproles. Both players are over 30 (Brees 35 & Sproles 30) and we have no succession plan in place for either.

How do we build around Jimmy with our cap the way it is?

I would love to see the Saints go into a more forward thinking mode this year. If they could land say Oregon RB De'Anthony Thomas at the end of round 1 and Georgia QB Aaron Murray in the 2nd I would jump all over it.

Now before anyone begins the "not another RB in the 1st talk", since Payton has been here he has had a dynamic sudden and explosive space player like Bush and then Sproles in his scheme to help create the mismatches he covets. With Sproles over 30, Thomas could be the next in line to take that flex position in Paytons offense in a couple years. THe same goes for Murray as Brees's understudy. This to me would ensure the future of two of the most important positions on our offense on a offensive minded team.

The Saints have actually already began this movement... Toon is developing behind Colston as is Stills behind Moore. They feel they have there left tackle of the future in Armstead developing in the wings as well. Thomas and Murray could be the final two pieces to the offensive youth movement that could be coming to the Saints 2-3 years from now.

My answer to your question... Forward thinking is the only way.

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