Apr 17, 2008

Rumors, Rumors, Rumors

With the NFL Draft less than 10 days away, rumors and false information are flying around about every team, especially the New Orleans Saints. The Saints hold the 10th pick in the upcoming draft and there's been lots of speculation about what they'll do with the pick.

Here are a few rumors going around:

Jeremy Shockey Trade: The rumor getting the most play is that the Saints are trying to trade for NY Giants tight end Jeremy Shockey. There was a report a few weeks ago that the Saints offered a 2nd round pick for him, and the Giants asked for a 2nd and safety Roman Harper. Since Harper is the Saints top safety, they refused. New reports have Shockey shopping for real estate in New Orleans and telling friends that he's excited to go to the Saints and play with Drew Brees and Reggie Bush.

This trade makes sense for the Saints because Sean Payton's offense utilizes the tight end position and he hasn't had a solid one since he arrived in the Big Easy. Guys like Eric Johnson, Billy Miller and Mark Campbell can only get you so far. Shockey would open up the field and give Reggie Bush more space to run wild. There are some issues with Shockey's attitude. Does he fit the high character locker room that the Saints have established? He didn't show much support for his teammates during their Super Bowl run and instead of being on the sidelines for the game, he was drinking cocktails in the box seats.

I'm not sure how he would fit, but I'm all for the deal if the Saints don't have to give up too much to get him.

Trading for CB Lito Sheppard: When the Eagles signed former Patriots CB Asante Samuel to a huge free agent contract, everyone wondered how much longer would Lito Sheppard play for Philadelphia. Sheppard is a former first round pick and Pro Bowl player, but he missed most of last season with injuries. Sheppard now wants a new deal and the Eagles aren't likely to pay top dollar to two cornerbacks. There are rumors that the Eagles want to move up in the draft from the #19 pick to get one of the top offense lineman available. The Saints pick at #10 would be a likely place to jump.

It would be a good move for the Saints to drop back nine spots and pick up a Pro Bowl cornerback in the process. Many mock drafts have the Saints taking a corner with their first pick anyway, so why not get a proven player and still keep a mid-1st round pick in the process? If this deal is on the table, I hope the Saints jump all over it.

Moving up in the First Round: The NFL Network reported yesterday that the Saints have made inquiries to teams in the Top 5 about what it would take to move up in the draft. The speculation is that the Saints want to get one of the top defensive players, Glenn Dorsey or Vernon Gholston.

There's a new draft trade chart floating around that doesn't value high draft picks as much as the old one, since most teams don't want to pay the high contracts that these picks require. If the Saints can get in the top 5 (most likely at #2 since they'll have to jump Atlanta to grab Dorsey) without giving up too much, I'd like that deal. This team is built to win now and doesn't need a ton of rookies on the roster. One or two solid defenders could help the defense so that it can at least hold its own while the offense wins the games. I doubt they are looking at Gholston though, as he is one of the most over rated players in this year's draft and isn't great value at the 2nd spot. It's more likely that they're targeting Dorsey or USC DT Sedrick Ellis.

Trade Back with Detriot: Detriot has the 15th pick and wants to move up for RB Rashard Mendenhall. The Lions would trade up with New Orleans for the 10th pick and OT Jon Stinchcomb and give the Saints the 15th pick and their 3rd. I think this trade is more speculation by the Detroit media than anything. There's no way the Saints give up their starting RT and move back just to gain a 3rd round pick. This deal will not happen.

Deuce's Future: Deuce McAllister restructured his contract earlier this week to stay with the Saints at least through training camp. It will be interesting to see how the Saints handle Deuce in the preseason. With his health, will he get enough carries in the games to show that he's back to 100%? What happens if the Saints spend a high draft pick on a RB? Will Deuce move down the depth chart and eventually be let go? Fans are hoping to see the old Deuce line-up for the Saints this year, but after having surgery on both knees this offseason, there are no guarantees that he'll be able run away from anyone or cut like he needs to.

Who knows how much of these rumors are true? At this time of the year, teams feed bits of info to the media just to see how other teams react. Will someone else try to trade in front of you to make sure they get their guy? Will someone call with a better trade offer? Until the commissioner steps in front the podium on April 26 and announces the Saints draft pick, the speculation will continue.

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