Saints Need to Take Care of Business in Their Own Backyard

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Running Back

Sep 20, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Khiry Robinson (29) runs from Tampa Bay Buccaneers outside linebacker Lavonte David (54) in the second half at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers won, 23-19.Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

This will probably be the most discussed log-jammmed position the Saints have going into the offseason, with everyone having their own opinion on who should stay and who should go.

Mark Ingram is a given to return, and I’ll go out on a limb to say C.J. Spiller will return as well — although I’ve seen several saying he is in danger of being possibly traded or outright released.

That would leave two spots at best for the Saints to fill between Khiry Robinson, Tim Hightower, and Travaris Cadet.

Robinson is actually a restricted free agent, and the Saints would have the right of first refusal if any team tries to sign him away.

The gruesome injury to his leg in 2015 put a damper on a promising season for Robinson, and his Tasmanian Devil-style of hard running that sometimes works against him.

Hightower has to be the feel-good story after he proved that he could shine in a lead role after being out of football, and had an impressive comeback.

Cadet returned to the Saints after they let him walk in free agency this past season; and his journey back showed why the Saints signed him as an undrafted free agent to begin with.

Spiller provided a cautionary tale for the Saints on trying to land a running back in free agency, although you could make the argument that it was injury (one of many rumors) that derailed his inaugural campaign in New Orleans.

Dec 13, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Tim Hightower (34) celebrates as he scores a touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. New Orleans Saints defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24-17. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Of the group, the Saints will have to spend to keep Hightower who in just eight games, where he only started three, had 96 rushing attempts for 375 yards and four touchdowns along with 12 receptions for 129 yards.

I’ve heard the theory that the Saints could technically keep all five players with Cadet being used as simply a return specialist, which would mean 2015 seventh round pick Marcus Murphy would be on the way out.

That’s a lot of money potentially that could be shelled out for that position with Ingram and Spiller making a combined $4.7 million in base salary for 2016 just by themselves already.

It’s possible the Saints could offer up Robinson as trade bait in exchange for a Draft pick in the mid-round range; so if a team truly wants him, then it could be a win-win situation for them heading into the 2016 NFL Draft.

However this “house of cards” situation works at that position, they’ll still have to focus on what they have in the pantry first before they can go shopping.

The Saints need to take care of business, in their own backyard, before knocking on Free Agency’s door……..