Aug 12, 2010; Foxborough, MA, USA; New Orleans Saints offensive tackle Jermon Bushrod (74) lines up with guard Carl Nicks (77) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-US PRESSWIRE
Starting during their run towards the Super Bowl in 2009, the New Orleans Saints were always thought to have a dominant offensive line that kept quarterback Drew Brees clean in not only the pocket, but his uniform as well by keeping him off the ground.
The offensive line has won the Madden most Valuable Protectors Award in 2009 and 2011 along with numerous Pro Bowls selections divvied up between the players.
If it ain’t broke don’t fix it right?
Well that’s easier said than done because along with those accolades come the price of fame, and in the NFL that price doesn’t come cheap.
In fact beginning in 2011 the bulky wall of men that protected Brees began to see it’s members dissipate, whether by choice or not.
One thing that has seemed to be a constant though is that most members of the group that was responsible for the success of the offense in the running and passing game didn’t exactly see the same results once they left the Saints.
Sep 7, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; New Orleans Saints guard Jahri Evans (73) during a game against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome. The Falcons won 37-34 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
With the recent news that guard Jahri Evans was released, it’s a wonder what he will command on the open market and what teams will be willing to sign him for.
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So far no one has taken a bite at him which could be largely due to injuries that hampered him the past few seasons, but Evans insists that he is healthy and in the words of his agent, “looking forward to the next chapter of his career”.
But it’s understandable when you don’t have a choice in the matter and are released like Evans and another former player like tackle Jon Stinchcomb who was not only a great guy but one of Brees protectors.
His departure came as a bit of a surprise to fans when he was released in August 2011, being replaced by then backup Zach Strief who was reportedly caught off guard as much as anyone was when the news was delivered to him he would be taking over.
But after reported struggles with injuries in 2010, Stinchcomb wasn’t fairing well during training camp with Strief and 2010 draft pick Charles Brown seeing more reps.
There were others though that sought greener pastures via free agency with not too much success regardless of past accomplishments.
Let’s take a quick look at how each of them fared, starting with this former Saint….
Next: Anchors Away