Aug 22, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints guard Jahri Evans (73) and center Tim Lelito (68) against the New England Patriots during the first half of a preseason game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
#4. EMPLOYMENT (PLAYING FOR A J-O-B)
In many ways, these final games are a “job interview” for many of these players. For those who don’t perform up to the standards imposed by the coaching staff, they could end up leaving NOLA with a “pink slip” in hand.
Backup quarterback Luke McCown gave a veteran’s perspective a few days ago when he spoke about addressing his teammates. For some veterans, this is possibly their final season, they are in a contract year, or just hoping that they can keep a job in the National Football League.
Players like Jahri Evans, Zach Strief, Tim Lelito, and McCown are on the back end of their professional careers. Dannell Ellerbe and Coby Fleener are potential cap casualties.
Nick Fairley, John Kuhn, Paul Kruger, Sterling Moore, and BW Webb are playing out 1 year contracts. Brandon Coleman, Willie Snead and Brandin Cooks are examples of players whose contracts will expire either this season or next.
Quite simply, many players are auditioning for continued paychecks; if not with the Saints then with any of the other 31 teams.
Even the play of higher regarded players, such as Vonn Bell, Stephone Anthony, and Andrus Peat will determine if the Saints coaching staff feels secure with those players at their respective positions, or if they must address those spots in higher regard through the draft or free agency.
Good front offices are in a constant team building mentality, and the play of this team over these final three games will go a long way in determining the direction of the Saints franchise for the immediate future.