Hope took a strong uptick when the news that both Jabari Greer and Jonathan Vilma restructured their contracts. The whole point to that, of course, is to free up more money to put toward other contracts…or contract, singular, if said contract happens to be gargantuan.
Drew Brees’ cap number recently went up from $14 million to $16 million. Greer’s restructuring perhaps took care of that. And Vilma’s? Remember that the Saints and Brees were reportedly now just a couple million per year apart. Is that, perchance, the savings on Vilma? Might we expect some big news very soon?
It’s already big news all on its own, of course. Not only do we keep Greer, our best defensive back; we also are apparently keeping Vilma—despite his expected suspension, and despite the presence of two new linebackers, Curtis Lofton and David Hawthorn, either of whom are perfectly capable of taking his place. You don’t convert future salary into present bonus unless you intend to keep the man around. (They can’t just now cut Vilma, because his entire bonus would count against this year’s cap. They’d be worse off than when they started.)
So, the light at the end of the tunnel that Nolachick pleads for so desperately may not come courtesy of the NFL draft, but much, much better news. Hopefully.
On the other hand, Andrew Juge’s angst concerning the player suspensions isn’t likely to go away anytime soon. On this matter, I side with Mike Triplett’s analysis—which, of course, I may live to regret. So let’s just say that he sides with me, even though he did publish first. The player suspensions aren’t entirely up to Goodell; and the delay may not be simply Goodell’s sneaky, passive-aggressive way to wreck the Saints’ draft and further screw up their season. The NFLPA will have something to say in the matter—and a court case right now is the last thing the NFL needs (since the union could subpoena ALL the so-called evidence). That’s what’s behind Jeff Pash’s ridiculous accusation that the union is acting against the players’ interests when they oppose the mighty hand of My Lord Goodell: the NFL is resorting to PR, because they can’t win in court and they know it.
Personally, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this plays out like StarCaps: we’ll teeter on the edge of limbo all season, win a Super Bowl, and lose some defensive personnel next season. Eh, I’ll take it.