If there is ever a reason to be grateful for the uncapped season, it should be the window the New Orleans Saints front-office needed to dispose of underperforming/all-around pain in the ass defensive end Charles Grant and his double-stuffed contract.
Grant was the closest thing to a ne’er do well on the roster.
One of the few remnants of the Jim Haslett-era, Grant had an impressive first three seasons, with 27.5 sacks, which he infamously parlayed for a bigger contract so he could “feed his children”.
The Saints rewarded his early productive years and discounted as aberrations his relatively off-years in 2005 and 2006, when he made a combined 8.5 sacks, with a seven-year, $63,000,000 deal in 2007.
And how did Grant repay general manger Mickey Loomis’s generosity?
Two and one-half sacks in 2007.
But it got better.
In the off-season, Grant was involved in an altercation at a Georgia nightclub in which the Saints defensive end was stabbed in the neck and a pregnant woman was shot dead. Grant was later indicted for involuntary manslaughter and the matter is still pending.
In 2008 Grant barely showed improvement with three sacks. On top of that was his involvement in the StarCaps scandal in which Grant and fellow Saints defensive end Will Smith and running back Deuce McAllister were to be suspended four games for using the banned substance that can be used as a masking agent for steroids.
Grant, who has been battered on sports talk shows by callers and hosts alike for not playing up to his contract, entered the 2009 season on the bubble and improved his sack total to 5.5, his highest number since 2006. Grant was placed on injured reserve before the playoffs after tearing his triceps in the regular season finale at Carolina.
With the shooting trial and possible StarCaps suspension still hanging over Grant’s head and his fat contract hanging over the organization’s head, the uncapped season made the former Georgia Bulldog’s release inevitable.
Also released were linebacker Mark Simoneau and guard Jamar Nesbit.
It’s a good thing Loomis has a sharp mind as I had forgotten Simoneau was still on the team, with good reason. The ten-year veteran hasn’t played a game since 2007, which I guess makes him an eight-year actual veteran.
Simoneau played at Kansas State.
Nesbit was a solid player until he opted to serve his own StarCaps suspension immediately while his teammates chose to appeal. At the time a 10 year veteran, he never got his job back as the Saints decided to stick with rookie Carl Nicks. Nesbit has since filed a law-suit against the manufacturer of StarCaps for lost wages and other damages resulting from his suspension.
Nesbit might be best remembered for jumping on the field to execute practice snaps with quarterback Drew Brees moments after starting center Jonathan Goodwin was injured in the Atlanta Falcons game.
Nesbit played at the University of South Carolina.