It doesn't appear as though the New Orleans Saints will have to worry about a contract holdout with defensive end Cameron Jordan heading into the final year of his deal. Jordan is planning to participate in the Saints' offseason program, according to a league source.
The Saints' offseason program kicks off Monday with the start of weight training and conditioning.
There is no word on whether the Saints and Jordan have come any closer on a long-term contract extension. Coach Sean Payton said last month that the team had been discussing an extension with Jordan's agent and called Jordan "part of the solution" going forward.
However, the former first-round draft pick and 2013 Pro Bowler won't come cheap.
Although Jordan had a down year by his lofty standard in 2014 (with just 7.5 sacks for a defense that ranked 31st in the NFL in yards allowed), he has shown potential to be one of the league's premier defensive ends. He had 12.5 sacks in his breakout Pro Bowl season in 2013. And his cost will only increase if he has a bounce-back year, followed by the prospect of hitting the open market.
As I broke down in a recent mailbag post, I think the Saints should be able to determine what Jordan is worth to them long-term even without seeing what kind of season he has in 2015.
Although his production dipped in 2014 (like just about everyone else on New Orleans' defense), the Saints know what they have in Jordan by now. The 6-foot-4, 287-pounder has been a full-time starter for them since the beginning of his rookie season in 2011, playing both end and tackle in 3-4 and 4-3 alignments under three different defensive coordinators. Though his sack totals have varied, he has always been an excellent run defender.
What that's worth to the Saints remains to be seen.