After Further Review: Breaking down the bank in 2012 - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

After Further Review: Breaking Down the Bank in 2012

Updated:
In six games, Chris Ivory averaged over five yards per carry in 2012 (AP Photo) In six games, Chris Ivory averaged over five yards per carry in 2012 (AP Photo)

In the economics of football, production and price are heavily debated and analyzed.

2012 was a mixed bag for the Saints in dollars spent. Some players were incredibly cost-efficient, while others turned out to be not worth the money.

Top 5 Best Bargains:

5. Isa Abdul Quddus - This may be a surprise but Quddus produced in 2012. Filling in at various times throughout the season, Quddus was second on the team with two interceptions and had 45 tackles. That's pretty good production for just $465,000 in base salary.

4. Chris Ivory - Ivory wasn't given many opportunities but took advantage of them when he did. Ivory used his battering-ram running style to average 5.4 yards per carry. He also scored two touchdowns, including perhaps the run of the year when he scampered 56 yards against Atlanta. Although the quantity of reps weren't there, the quality certainly was. Ivory was well worth his $540,000 base salary.

3. Junior Galette - I've always said Galette is the Saints' best pure edge pass rusher. He proved me right again in 2012. In just 12 games, Galette registered five sacks and was a disruptive force, even when he didn't actually tackle the quarterback. Not bad for an undrafted player that cost the Saints $490,000 in 2012. Galette will be a restricted free agent this offseason, so the Saints could get him at another reasonable price for at least one more year.

2. Cam Jordan - My defensive MVP in 2012 for the Saints. Jordan led the team with eight sacks and proved he can be an every down defensive end. The Saints also drafted him in the first round at the right time. The new rookie scale made first round picks much more affordable. Jordan's base salary was $726,000 this season.

1. Jimmy Graham - Second year in a row Graham topped this list. Yes, Graham had a somewhat down season. But most teams would kill to have a ‘down' year of 85 catches, 982 yards and nine touchdowns. The best part about it was Graham made a base salary of $540,000 in 2012. That will soon change when Graham gets Rob Gronkowski-like money either this year or next. In the meantime the Saints can take solace in knowing they had perhaps the best bargain in the NFL in Graham.

Top 5 Most Overpaid:

5.  Will Smith - Smith topped this list last year but in 2012 he wasn't terrible. He was second on the team with 6.5 sacks. However that production simply didn't add up to the $5.3 million cap hit.

4. Scott Shanle - I must admit, this one is a bit unfair. Shanle didn't ask to be de-activated for the back half of the season. Still, Shanle had a cap-hit of $2.25 million and didn't see much of the field.

3. Devery Henderson - As I chronicled back in November, Henderson has been a part of just about every Louisiana football record this past decade. He added to that this year after catching Drew Brees' record-breaking touchdown pass to break Johnny Unitas' record. Other than that though, it was a tough year for Henderson. He had career lows in receiving yards this season and only had 22 catches, second worst of his career. Henderson was in the final year of a deal that paid him $2.65 million in base salary.

2. Will Herring - Solid special teamer, good locker room guy but at $1.3 million base salary, Herring is one of the most overpaid players on the Saints roster.

1. Sedrick Ellis - This one was too easy. In a contract year, Ellis made minimal impact on a Saints defense that was desperate for playmakers. Five years in, I think it's safe to say Ellis is not that guy for the Saints and is certainly not worth a $7.7 million cap hit.

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