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Mass exodus from New Orleans?

Take a look at this Insider pieceInsider by Gary Horton. He lists the six teams that face the most danger in free agency.

At the very top of the list, he has the New Orleans Saints. This kind of goes along with the column I wrote recently on how the salary-cap implications for quarterback Drew Brees could end up gutting the Saints as we know them.

Horton points out the Saints are running the very real risk of losing free agents Carl Nicks, Marques Colston, Tracy Porter, Robert Meachem and some other role players. As we count down to Tuesday afternoon’s start of free agency, the Saints have a little over $5 million in salary cap room.

I expect that number could grow higher between now and Tuesday afternoon because the Saints are likely to release some players and could restructure more contracts.

But I’m thinking Porter and Meachem will walk. The Saints likely will use whatever salary-cap room they can scrape up to try to keep Nicks and Colston.

It still might be impossible to keep both of them. I think Nicks is the first priority on their list, but they’ve let him get this close to free agency and he’s been making noise that he thinks he’s gone. Even if the Saints make a late offer to Nicks, it seems likely he at least would want to see what’s available on the free-agent market. He’s the best guard in the league and it’s likely some teams with less cap issues than the Saints would like to make a run at him.