In 2015, Delvin Breaux was one of the most inspirational stories in the NFL. He overcame a horrific neck injury that took away his collegiate career at LSU to eventually find his way to his hometown Saints and became the team's top cornerback.
He looked poised for big things in 2016 until a broken fibula in week one forced him to miss ten games. In 2017, a bizarre misdiagnosis, that cost two Saints' team doctors their jobs, and a recovery setback from another broken fibula forced him to miss the entire season.
Which leads the Saints and Breaux to 2018. Will he back?
Breaux is a restricted free agent, meaning the Saints can match any offer if they tender him. They can choose to tender him at one of three levels: first round compensation, second round compensation or no compensation as Breaux was undrafted.
If a team chooses to sign him after he is tendered and the Saints declined to match, they would receive the corresponding compensation of the level they've chosen.
All would be one-year deals at relatively low costs.
This is the best option for everyone involved. The Saints can certainly use another cornerback, and it doesn't commit long term to him and gives them the chance to see if he can return to his 2015 self. If he's able to, the Saints could have one of the best cornerback duo's in the game. If he can't, then the organization wasn't on the hook for any long-term financial commitment. Essentially, it's a low financial risk with a potentially high reward.
In Breaux's case, the likelihood of him landing a big-time contract on the open market coming off two season-ending injuries may be tough. Signing a one-year tender with the Saints would give him the chance to prove he still has it and land long-term deal in 2019.
The alternative would be to simply let Breaux walk. But given what they'd have to pay to keep him around at a position of need, the smart play would be to bring Breaux back.
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