The Saints are stuck in limbo right now as they wait for the league to hand down their judgement on the bounty scandal. This issue is compounded with Drew Brees, with whom the front office were unable to reach a long term deal with, and ultimately decided to franchise tag him. All is not well in N'awlins, and it was imperative the team tried to keep the ship afloat as best they could. The biggest loss for the Saints is Carl Nicks, who signed with Tampa Bay. Nick is far and away the best guard in the NFL, and while Tampa paid a lot they're going to get what they paid for.
Best Signing: Ben Grubbs- 5 years, $36 million
After Nicks he was the second best OG in free agency. While he wont be as good as the man he's replacing, at least he'll ensure some consistency on the offensive line. Losing Nicks and not getting a good replacement would have been devastating, and surely changed some of the things they like to do on offense, especially as it pertains to Darren Sproles getting into the open field with a guard pulling for him.
More after the jump
Mediocre Signing: Marques Colston- 5 years, $40 million
On the one hand it seems insane to denigrate the retention of a 26 year old WR with five 1,000 yard seasons, but I can't help but feel in watching him play Colston is purely a product of the NO system. In terms of a route runner, and offensive threat I feel like Robert Meachem was actually the more vital WR, even if his yardage wasn't as gaudy.
The second part to this is Vincent Jackson. The Bucs signed Jackson for just $3 million more per season, and as a WR he is more talented than Colston. If the Saints did what was prudent and resigned Brees long term they would have had the money to sign Jackson AND retain Meachem, which would have made their offense even better (which is scary).
Worst (non) Signing: Franchise tag on Drew Brees
I'm of the opinion that you don't mess around with your QB, especially when he's performing well. I can't fathom why the Saints want to play with fire and low-ball Brees after everything he's done on turning the organization around. Perhaps it's fear that the bounty scandal will destroy the coaching staff (and by extension the system), but even so it seems odd they would mess around with the organization's most important player.
The Saints did enough to make them basically carbon copies of the 2011 Saints, but there's a sense that between the scandal and Brees only being on a one year deal it could be a sign the window is closing quickly in the bayou.