By July 1, NFL teams should have their "hay in the barn." Free agents should be signed, most draft picks should be under contract and the salary cap should be a known quantity. However, the New Orleans Saints have a mind-boggling number of unsettled issues as the calendar turns to July.
Until third round pick DT Akiem Hicks signed last week, the Saints had yet to sign any of their draft picks. The new CBA has shrunk the pool of money allotted to NFL rookies. So New Orleans should not have trouble negotiating with its draft picks. Hopefully, the other draft picks will be under contract when training camp begins on July 16.
I believe NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is scared to death of the NFLPA. It took Goodell no time at all to punish the Saints franchise and coaches and to rule on their appeals. However, he took much longer to suspend the current and former New Orleans players and their appeals took place two weeks ago with no sign of a decision in sight.
Not that Jonathan Vilma's defamation lawsuit versus Roger Goodell has a direct impact on the Saints, but it will keep the bounty story in the news. The only way his defamation lawsuit will go away is if Goodell drops his year-long suspension of Vilma. And we all know Goodell will never admit he was wrong.
Probably the most ridiculous offseason news in New Orleans came when an ESPN report accused Saints GM Mickey Loomis of wiretapping in the Superdome in the early 2000s. Although I believe these charges are false, it's now July and I have yet to hear anything from the Louisiana state police or the FBI in its investigation of this matter.
Drew Brees franchise tag value
I remember writing an article in which I stated that the New Orleans Saints should have Drew Brees signed by Mardi Gras. Your guess is as good as mine as to what is really holding up the Saints' contract talks with Drew Brees. In the first week of July, we may know whether Brees' 2013 franchise tag value would be $20 million or $24 million.
Drew Brees NFLPA grievance
We can't have it both ways, Saints fans. We can't applaud the NFLPA for supporting the suspended players in the New Orleans bounty scandal and then wish they'd stop meddling in the Drew Brees contract talks. The NFLPA grievance on behalf of Brees is certainly unusual. But what hasn't been unusual in New Orleans this offseason?
Mickey Loomis, it's July. Pay the man!
Patrick Michael lives in New Orleans and has always been a big fan of the New Orleans Saints. Patrick's favorite Saints season was 2009 when New Orleans won Super Bowl 44. Follow Patrick Michael on Twitter at patmichael84.
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