BrownWho would have thought that Brown would be the prize of free agency in the NFC South? Yes, Atlanta fans, I know Dunta Robinson really is the crown jewel this year, but that seems so long ago and the rest of the NFC South has been so quiet. Turns out Brown was lured by two, maybe three NFC South teams.
At the very least, his decision came down to a choice between New Orleans and Tampa Bay, the two teams we know for sure he spoke to. There are indications Carolina also was at least somewhat interested, but we don’t know if the Panthers made an offer.
Anyway, I don’t see any real big downside to Brown joining the Saints. Don’t expect him to come in and pile up 15 sacks. He is what he is -- a guy who, pretty consistently, gave the Bears six or seven sacks a year and played the run well. Is he an upgrade over Charles Grant, who was released by the Saints? Probably. Grant could give you a big year once in awhile, but he also disappeared at times and was getting older. Brown gives a championship defense a consistent player in an area of need.
This doesn’t mean the Saints won’t take a defensive end early in the draft. But it does mean they don’t have to take a defensive end early in the draft.
One other item of note here is that signing Brown doesn't apply to the final-eight plan that's restricting the Saints in free agency. That only applies to true unrestricted free agents, who played out their previous contracts. Brown had his terminated when the Bears cut him.