The New Orleans Saints haven’t shown much interest in re-signing their offensive tackle Jermon Bushrod so far, and the media is starting to talk. Tonight our staff will look at possible reasons why, and look at the Saints options considering the salary cap hole we’re in.
Before you start to blast me, know that I am a fan of Jermon Bushrod. I have a special place in my heart for all the “Big Uglys” in the black and gold trenches, but that doesn’t mean I can’t let one go. The reality is that the 2-time Pro Bowler is an expendable part of the New Orleans Saints offensive line. He isn’t one of the game’s top left tackles and the Saints must move on from the assumption he is. He can be let go without any significant damage to the Saints offense and replaced easily in this offseason with a number of ways.
The Saints could take the same route they took in acquiring Bushrod and look for an OT in the 4th or 5th rounds of the upcoming draft. Non-BCS standouts David Quessenberry and Terron Armstead could be had in the weekend days of the draft. If the Saints are looking for someone with a BCS pedigree, LSU OT Chris Faulk could be an option if his injury history and weight problems get straightened up. The draft is my preferred route in acquiring a new LT for the Saints ,but I understand a non-elite LT talent may take some time to develop into that type of player and I don’t think that Charles Brown or Will Robinson are ready to take that step.
This is where going after a free agent RT and making the move to LT could help the Saints. The name that most comes to my mind is Detroit RT Gosder Cherilus. Picking up a RT of Cherilus’s caliber and moving him to LT is a risky move, but I think Cherilus has the talent to make the transition and free agent RT’s come cheaper than LT’s. He would also bring a touch of toughness that Bushrod doesn’t consistently show.
XMike Wallace, Staff Saints Writer
I agree with the idea of letting Bushrod walk, mainly because he constantly requires assistance in blocking either via the tight end or running back chipping or Nicks/Grubbs sliding over and assisting. Most people fail to realize that Jermon has always played next to a pro-bowler at the left guard spot, and that the Saints Oline is built around the middle and less so the edges. The Guards and center are what makes the line go, and as evidenced by Charles Browns play up until his injury Brown is more than equipped and ready to step into the role. I say let Bushrod saunter off to Chicago where he can be overpaid and under perform (Jamall Brown anyone?) while we go ahead and insert Brown into the starting line-up.
I don’t see any need to go chasing after a left or right tackle in free agency, specifically when the entire defense is undergoing a make over. If Sean Payton wastes any time in the first 3 rounds of the draft pursuing offensive talent, I will smash my head into the wall until it is a fine pink mist. The Saints need to get the defense together, They have more than enough talent on the roster to deal with the O-line. If the New Orleans Saints sign anyone on the defensive line, it needs to be De La Puente.
XMagyver, Senior Staff Writer, Tailgate Sports Network Editor/Webmaster
Jermon Bushrod may have had a modest 2 year salary of $4.25 mil, but he “bonused” us to death. When the dust settled he cost us about $4.9 mil both years, although he earned the $150,000 Pro Bowl Bonus outright. Jermon has done the best he could but his average salary matches Jonathan Vilma’s.
We probable can’t afford to pay him what he wants, and “bonus” has turned into “bone us”, lol… The Saints have been silent on a new contract for a reason, they probably feel like they can’t afford him. The next guy we sign to a $1 mil base salary for a single year shouldn’t cost us an extra $1.9 mil in bonus money. We just don’t have the money to spend.
It’s not like Bushrod doesn’t have any gas left in his tank, he does. At 28 he’s not really that “old a model”, and with five seasons behind him he doesn’t have that many miles on him. The problem is money, and the fact that he doesn’t “stand out on the street”. I’m not sure we can afford a Cadillac when a Chevy can get us just as far down the road.
XBuddy Dee’s Ghost, Staff Saints Writer
Mixed feelings. I like Bushrod’s work ethic and I’d hate to roll the dice on an unproven player to protect Drew’s weak-side.
That said, yes he’s overrated. Here’s the deal, Bushrod APPEARS to be a great pass blocker (leaves a lot to be desired in the run game) but how much of that has derived from the saints receivers’ ability to get separation over the years?
Ultimately, we should have brought in a replacement for Bushrod last season and worked him toward the position.
Before we make any rash decisions, I want to know is someone else, could do as good a job for cheaper. We’ve had some real bad luck with offensive lineman over the last 4 years. Losing Carl Nicks and Jonathan Goodwin cost us more in the running game.
Remember how good the lineup was in 09? Bushrod – Nicks – Goodwin – Evans – Stinchcomb/Strief. Those guys could really get up into the secondary so mutts like Mike Bell could pick up 600+ yards.
Picking up a RT of Cherilus’s caliber and moving him to LT is a risky move
If you recall that what they did with Bushrod when Jamal brown got injured. I do believe it was his second season though.
Picture Credits: Pic courtesy of Michael C. Hebert and the New Orleans Saints
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