April 19, 2007

Saints Ink David To Four-Year Offer Sheet

Colts' Super Bowl starter could be a Saint day before NFL Draft

Only a day before the deadline to make such a deal, the Saints have signed an offer sheet with Colts cornerback Jason David, a restricted free agent.

The contract is for four years and presents the defending champion Colts, the Saints' season opening opponent, with a difficult decision.

The Saints have signed David to a front-loaded contract that the Colts must match, or lose David. Compensation to the Colts would be the Saints' fourth round pick, the 126th overall.

NFL.com reports: "It's a four-year, $15.6 million contract, including $6.5 million in the first year of the contract with a cap charge of $5.525 million in the first year."

It also makes for a difficult situation for the Saints who may have to wait until next Friday, the day before the draft, to know whether or not their draft plans will include a new starting cornerback. Expect the Colts to leave the Saints front office and scouting report hanging for the full seven days.

At 25 years old, 5'8, and 180 pounds David is a young, experienced starting cornerback. He already has 49 career starts over three seasons, including 13 starts, two in the playoffs, as a rookie out of Washington State in 2004.

Diminutive but with sticky man-up coverage skills David fits the Saints' man-coverage addicted scheme and provides the team a better matchup for divisional rivals like Carolina's Steve Smith and Tampa Bay's Joey Galloway. He is by no means an elite corner, or even a complete package at this point. A lack of elite speed and size limitations will make it difficult for the Saints to match up Mike McKenzie and David against a team with two large receivers. He is expected to start.

Playing under the rookie contract he signed as a fourth-round pick, David qualified for $181,000 in "performance pay" bonus, one of the largest awards in a program that rewards young players who outplay their contracts.

Active off the field, David's charity focuses on funding research and treatment for leukemia and lymphoma, according to an NFL Players Association interview.

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