Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Saints Nation: Jammal Brown On His Way Out?

NFL Network's Jason La Canfora has reported that Jammal Brown has been placed on the trading block. One issue in trading Brown is that he's yet to sign his restricted free agent tender, so technically he's not a member of the Saints. Brown has made it clear during the offseason that he's intent on getting a long term deal. He is currently skipping voluntary team workouts as his agent attempts to get him a more lucrative deal than the one year tender. While Brown is not under contract, the restricted free agency period has ended, which means he cannot sign with another team anymore and the Saints have exclusive negotiating rights.

Brown seems intent on refusing to sign his one year tender, which means the Saints would either need to sign him to a long term extension before trading him, or the team that's trading for him would have to agree to a long term deal with Brown prior to agreeing to ship a draft pick over to the Saints. It's a little more complicated than just straight up trading him.

The news makes sense based on the emergence of both Jermon Bushrod and Zach Strief who are both more than capable backups. Jon Stinchcomb anchors the right tackle spot and earned a pro bowl invite last year. Jammal Brown is 30 and he wants a long term extension, so given his age and injury history I can see why the Saints don't want to make the investment. That said, I can't see the Saints getting much in return for Brown. While premiere left tackles are very few and far between, the Saints are handcuffed by the current financial situation. If a team is willing to give Brown a huge contract, they're not going to want to give up much on top of that. I don't see the Saints getting a very high draft pick for him, maybe a 5th round pick tops.

In the end this makes me a little nervous, because I'm not 100% sold on Jermon Bushrod. If Brown gets shipped out, I'd like to Saints take a tackle in the 4th round or so to at least give Bushrod and Strief some competition. Both players are great role players, but they've yet to prove they can perform steadily and consistently at left tackle. There were times when Bushrod was a liability out there, and times were he was a pleasant surprise. Strief is a mammoth in size and a classic overachiever, but is he the answer for 16 games at left tackle? It seems like Bushrod is ahead of him in the pecking order, and the Saints seem to think Strief is best suited for right tackle. The problem there is Stinchcomb has that starting spot on lock-down. To be continued...