Once the euphoria of signing cornerback Brandon Browner subsided, the question remained if the New Orleans Saints would seek to sign another dynamic play-maker to the secondary.
More specifically, the Saints need a someone in the nickel spot that can help solidify the trifecta with Browner and fellow corner Keenan Lewis.
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Former Green Bay Packers corner Tramon Williams visited in the first few days of free agency along with Browner.
Saints fans began to drool at the fact that possibly the Saints were working a deal to sign both players. But this wasn’t meant to be unfortunately.
Williams would sign with the Cleveland Browns not long after Browner inked his deal and actually it was probably for the best.
The Saints wouldn’t, and shouldn’t, have paid the Louisiana native the 3 year/$21 million contract he got from the Browns.
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Another corner that was getting some attention from the Saints even before free agency began was former Atlanta Falcons Robert McClain.
But McClain and a slew of others worked out for the New England Patriots this week and he signed with them not long after.
I had resigned at this point that the best move would be for the Saints to bring their former 2010 first round pick Patrick Robinson back into the fold.
However is was announced on Thursday that Robinson had signed a one year deal with the San Diego Chargers worth up to $3 million.
Jun 11, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints cornerback Patrick Robinson (21) during minicamp at the New Orleans Saints Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
The pickings keep getting slim for the Saints at corner as free agency clicks by and in reality, slim is actually an understatement.
If they are still interested in trying to sign someone off the market then only one name that really jumps out to me is Terrance Newman.
Oct 12, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Terence Newman (23) against the Carolina Panthers at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals and the Panthers tie in overtime 37-37. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Newman recently visited the Minnesota Vikings and Patriots but left both without signing a deal.
There hasn’t been any reports the Saints have shown any interest which isn’t a knock against Newman, but more that the they are still likely checking other positions and doing their homework.
Following the scenario that they could be done looking in free agency, then competition will begin between Brian Dixon, Terrence Frederick, and Delvin Breaux for the nickel or third corner spot.
Yes Stanley Jean-Baptiste is there as well but seeing as how he hardly was on the field last season, it doesn’t look like he’ll be snatching it away.
My money at this point will be on Dixon who was thrust in the position as a rookie last season and played in all 16 games.
Aug 8, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; New Orleans Saints defensive back Brian Dixon (44) is called for pass interference against St. Louis Rams wide receiver Chris Givens (13) during the second half at Edward Jones Dome. The Saints defeated the Rams 26-24. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Granted his performance as an outside corner was painful to watch on several occasions (along with the rest of the defense) but a move to the inside I think would suit him.
The Saints could also be looking to fill their corner issue with one of their first round picks in this draft with someone like Michigan State’s Trae Waynes, Washington’s Marcus Peters, or even L.S.U.’s Jalen Collins.
We’ll see in the next week or so what the Saints will do but with these slim options, the road to a ball hawking defensive backfield is getting awfully skinny……