NFC Offseason Questions
The NFC has won three of the last four Super Bowls. What do the Saints and the rest of the NFC need to do this offseason? Don Banks of SI.com breaks down offseason needs.
New Orleans Saints
Just how big a paycut is Reggie Bush willing to take to remain a Saint?
The NFL's most over-paid role player (and we're talking in league history, not just in 2010) said last month he's willing to restructure his salary to remain in New Orleans. What a team guy. As if he had a choice in the matter. Bush's contract calls for a salary of $11.8 million this season, and that's after the Saints bit the bullet in the post-Super Bowl honeymoon phase and paid him the $8 million he had coming last year. For that, all New Orleans got was eight games of very modest regular-season production, with Bush missing half the season with a broken fibula.
The Saints say they're still deciding what to do at running back, but if Bush comes back at all, it will be at a deep, deep discount price of their choosing. If I'm the Saints, I'd start the negotiation by suggesting Bush give back money and see where the talks go from there.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Where has good fortune smiled on the Bucs already this offseason, even without a move having been made?
No matter what ugliness happens in terms of the NFL's looming labor issues, the draft is scheduled to take place in late April. And the draft's strength this season, at least in the first round, perfectly dovetails with Tampa Bay's greatest area of need. The Bucs are searching for an impact defensive end to spruce up the pass rush and grow alongside young defensive tackles Gerald McCoy and Brian Price, and there's no shortage of candidates who should be in play when Tampa Bay's No. 20 pick rolls around. Iowa's Adrian Clayborn, Cal's Cameron Jordan and Purdue's Ryan Kerrigan are three prospects the Bucs will be studying in the coming months, and all would seem to be high-value selections for a Tampa Bay team with designs on a playoff berth in 2011.
Reggie Bush is always a big story in the national headlines. Whether or not he stays with the Saints is one of many offseason stories. New Orleans has the most potential free agents (28) in the league. Putting a value on each of the FAs, and deciding who to bring back, will be of vital importance this offseason.