The New Orleans Saints released a large quantity of veterans this past offseason and let a few more walk in free agency in an effort to get younger (particularly on the defensive side of the ball) and, more importantly, save money for top talent. The money the Saints cleared out by releasing the likes of Roman Harper and Jabari Greer was used to sign Jairus Byrd and will be used to keep Jimmy Graham around.
According to the NFL Network’s Albert Breer, the Saints could bring back some of those players, and he lists wide receiver Robert Meachem, former center Jonathan Goodwin, and Greer as three examples of veterans who could sign with the team ahead of training camp. The Saints recently added Champ Bailey, but they could still re-sign Greer, who is cheap and still played at a solid level last season. A CB trio of Keenan Lewis, Bailey, and Greer would be a solid one in front of the elite safety duo of Byrd and Kenny Vaccaro.
The Saints weren’t able to re-sign top starting center Brian De La Puente, who signed with the Chicago Bears, so they are definitely in the market for help at the position. Goodwin spent the last three seasons as a solid starter for the San Francisco 49ers, but he was previously a fixture at the heart of the Saints offensive line from 2006 to 2010. While De La Puente emerged as an even better player in New Orleans, Goodwin is still good and has been in Saints-related rumors for a couple of weeks now; it makes a ton of sense for the Saints to add him to an offensive line that still includes Zach Strief (re-signed), Jahri Evans, and second-year breakout candidate Terron Armstead.
Meachem wouldn’t fill as big of a need on the roster as Greer or Goodwin, but he’s probably just as likely to re-sign with the team. The Saints have had interest in keeping him around, as they had talks with him before free agency opened and still have interest. He isn’t a bad player, but he’s also 29 and has caught a combined 30 passes in the past two seasons. The Saints have three young players worth watching in 2014 in Kenny Stills, Nick Toon, and Joe Morgan, with Stills clearly being the pick of the litter, Morgan being the unheralded deep threat, and Toon being the “50-50″ contributor. If Toon and Morgan don’t show up well in offseason workouts (or something of that nature), then I could see the Saints adding Meachem in order to add a veteran presence to decrease any uncertainty about the contributors deep in Drew Brees’s WR corps.