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FoxSports.com: NFL Free Agency Report Card

New Orleans Saints

Impact moves: The Saints' front office stayed busy while dealing with the fallout of the bounty scandal that led to the pending suspension of general manager Mickey Loomis. New Orleans focused on its defensive front seven with the signing of defensive tackle Broderick Bunkley (Denver) and addition of three linebackers — Curtis Lofton (Atlanta), David Hawthorne (Seattle) and Chris Chamberlain (St. Louis). The linebacker push may be needed with Jon Vilma's status for the 2012 season unknown because of his role in the bounty scandal.

Significant losses: While the Saints were able to sign wide receiver Marques Colston to a contract extension, star left guard Carl Nicks left for a monster payday with Tampa Bay. The Saints didn't have the salary-cap room to keep Nicks because they were unable to reach agreement on a long-term deal with quarterback Drew Brees, who will count $16.4 million under the $120 million salary cap under the exclusive franchise tag. The Saints did find a quality replacement in Ben Grubbs (Baltimore).

Top draft needs: The defense could use more young talent, especially at cornerback after Tracy Porter (Denver) and versatile backup/special-teams contributor Leigh Torrence (Washington) departed.

Analysis: The inability to get Brees inked to a new contract has added to the dark clouds that have formed over the Saints this offseason.

Grade: C
- Alex Marvez (AP Photo/Bill Haber)

Courtesy of FOXSports.com



The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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