In this week’s mailbag, I weigh in on the Jimmy Graham situation and tell you which Saints player you’d want with you in a fight.
1.) What are the odds Jimmy Graham is NOT a Saint next year?
I (along with most pundits) would like to say that there is absolutely zero chance that Jimmy is not on the Saints next season. Ultimately I think he will be, but you really just don’t know what will happen these days in the NFL. Obviously both parties would like to reach a long-term agreement both for security and financial reasons, but with the franchise tag coming into play, terms get dicey. Jimmy has already said he will file grievance if the Saints try to tag him as a tight end so that will definitely put some heat on the organization. If (and that’s a big if) Graham is not on the Saints after this offseason, I believe they will lose him via sign-and-trade, meaning they sign him to a long-term deal and trade him to another team that can afford his contract. That way they will at least get a hefty return for one of the brightest, upcoming players in the league.
2.) Which player on any other NFL team would you most want to see in a Saints’ uniform?
A player that I would most like to see on the Saints would probably have to be Richard Sherman. He has pretty much solidified himself as the top corner in the game right now and if he was teamed up opposite of Keenan Lewis and with Kenny Vaccaro at safety, there is no doubt in my mind the Saints would have the best secondary in the league. Sherman is the prototypical cover corner for this day in age –standing at 6’3” and weighing 195 pounds – and his stats support that; he’s had 8 interceptions each of the past two seasons.
3.) If you were in a fight, which Saints player would you want with you and why?
I don’t know much about talent scouting for a boxer or any other type of fighter, so I’m going to have to go with someone with size: Terron Armstead. He’s 6’5” and 306 pounds, so I would assume that he could pack a mean punch and take some blows at the same time. Even though he plays offensive tackle, there was word around the block that he could be scouted as a tight end; this just adds to the fact that he’s an athletic mismatch. If I were looking for someone with speed or elusiveness, I would probably have to go with Junior Galette.
4.) Who is going to be the Saints’ kicker in 2014?
The Saints have been known to stick with a veteran kicker in the past so Shayne Graham most likely has the upper hand in this battle, but I’m going to pull a wild card and predict that Derek Dimke wins the kicking job. Dimke is the most accurate kicker in University of Illinois history, making 39 of his 46 field goal attempts. He was basically a “redshirt” player last season as a rookie, floating between the Buccaneers and the Lions, and never got a chance to kick in a game. Shayne Graham was a large part of the Saints’ first postseason win on the road in team history, but I think the team will go towards the youth in 2014.