The biggest free agent moves in the NFC South may all still be to come. The New Orleans Saints are wrapping up a visit Friday with free agent outside linebacker Victor Butler, who could help fill their most glaring defensive need. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are still mulling a blockbuster trade for cornerback Darrelle Revis. And the Atlanta Falcons are reportedly kicking the tires on star pass rusher Osi Umenyiora. So far, though, I'd say those three teams have been running neck-and-neck in the free agency race, with the Carolina Panthers lagging in a distant fourth. The Buccaneers (safety Dashon Goldson) and Falcons (tailback Steven Jackson) have made the biggest free-agent splashes in the division. But Saints have only broken even, at best. But that will change if they add a quality pass rusher (most likely Butler) or one or two other impact players, which I still expect to happen. I hate the Bushrod loss because I think he's underrated and he creates a gigantic question mark at a position the Saints haven't had to worry about over the past four years. I wish they would have found a way to sign him to an extension around $6 million per year before he hit the open market. But I understand why they balked at paying him more than $7 million per year, and many analysts seem to agree with the decision. Though it's comparing apples to oranges, the Saints arguably got more bang for their buck with Lewis, an up-and-coming young cornerback at roughly $5 million per year. And he should help a defense that needs as many upgrades as it can get.
So far, it's a three-way tie in free agency among New Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
New Orleans Times-Picayune | Mar 22