And the offseason is officially underway.
The New Orleans Saints have just parted ways with Pro Bowl guard Jahri Evans, who was set to enter the second year of the three year, $18 million contract he recently signed with the team. The move saves the Saints, who are in full on rebuilding mode, over $7 million in cap space and allows them a little more flexibility as they start to reconstruct their roster.
Evans was once one of the top guards in the entire NFL, and has been named to six Pro Bowls and earned four first-team All-Pro berths since being drafted in the 4th round of the 2006 draft by New Orleans. And while he isn't what he used to be, as age and the strain of the game have started to take their toll, the 32 year-old still has another year or two left in him under the right circumstances. In recent years, Evans has been battling both knee and wrist injuries, and 2015 saw him start in only 11 games (although it's worth noting that this marks only the 2nd season in a 10 year career that saw him miss any time), so there are definitely questions about his durability and longevity at this point in his career. And he'll be 33 by the time the 2016 season officially kicks off. However, for a team looking to bolster the interior of the offensive line and in need of a solid veteran to help bring along some young guys - say, oh the Patriots, for example - Evans could be a fantastic signing and immediate impact player.
New England is definitely going to address its offensive line in the offseason. There is talent there, but as we witnessed firsthand, there is also much work to be done. Bringing in a guy like Evans, for the right price, would make a world of sense. Looking forward to seeing how things develop.