After Further Review: Making the case for Pierre Thomas to stay - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

After Further Review: Making the case for Pierre Thomas to stay

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NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Welcome to the overhaul.   In what's become the biggest roster-gutting since Sean Payton arrived, the Saints are slashing seemingly at every turn on both sides of the ball.

The main reason for this is money. The Saints simply could not afford to keep that many players at that rate given their production.

But there's another layer to these moves, as well. It's not just how expensive they are, it's how replaceable they are. Basically, if a team is going to part ways with a veteran with proven experience, they better have a plan to replace that player.

Which brings us to where we are now. On Thursday, three names were leaked as possible trade options for the Saints, yet only two were gone by Friday. Of course that could change by the time I finish this sentence, but I think it also shows the Saints feel confident they can replace Darren Sproles and Lance Moore. At least well enough to relieve themselves of their financial commitments to them.

I'm not so sure they feel the same way about replacing Pierre Thomas.

It's easy to see why. Thomas is the best screen back in the NFL, the team's leading rusher and has prevented countless sacks on his blitz pick-ups.

His naysayers will point to his modest 3.7 yards per carry - but while his yards per carry were slightly down, his receptions were at an all-time high. Thomas had 77 catches in 2013, more than Sproles and second only to Jimmy Graham on the team. Plus, in his 773 career carries, he's fumbled the ball three times.

They may be able to find a player to do some of that, but I don't think they'll find one that could do it all consistently, year-in and year-out.

When you consider Thomas gives them all that for the bargain rate of $2.9 million, I'm convinced the Saints are struggling with the decision.

Maybe the Saints have a legitimate trade partner for Thomas. Maybe it's not economically possible for the Saints to ultimately keep Thomas. We'll see, but given how many departures of fan favorites we've already seen, maybe it' s in the best interest to look elsewhere to grab those much-needed funds.

We won't have to wait much longer to know their decision.

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