The Saints have a lengthy list of potential free agents, but only two of their unrestricted free agents -- All-Pro free safety Darren Sharper and strong-side linebacker Scott Fujita -- were starters for the Super Bowl champions.
They have a large group of talented young players who will be restricted free agents, but they should be able to keep most of them around considering the success the team had this season.
The Saints likely won't use the franchise tag this season, unless they have trouble re-signing free safety Darren Sharper. Even though he's 34 years of age, Sharper still has a lot left to offer based on how he played this season.
He'll likely want to end his career with the Saints after fitting in with defensive coordinator Gregg Williams and playing in his aggressive, attacking style of play.
Likewise, linebacker Scott Fujita may want to return. He's been a key to the defense since being one of the first free agents to sign with the team in 2006 and has a strong relationship with the organization and city.
1. Defensive tackle: The Saints were 21st against the run this season in allowing 122.1 yards per game and they were gashed for some big runs -- especially in the second half of the season. Former first-round draft pick Sedrick Ellis is solid, but he could use some help in the middle.
2. Running back: After failing in a bid to get back into the first round of the 2008 draft to draft Beanie Wells, the Saints may well have one on their radar again. While Pierre Thomas, Mike Bell and Reggie Bush teamed up to help the Saints rank sixth in rushing at 131.6 yards a game, all had minor knee problems.
3. Tight end: Jeremy Shockey still has a lot left in the tank and David Thomas was a nice addition, but Shockey has been plagued by injuries the last three seasons and the Saints were thin at the position after Billy Miller was lost for the season with a torn Achilles' tendon.
LDE Charles Grant had surgery to repair a torn triceps just after the first of the year and should be ready to go when the offseason program begins.
--LT Jammal Brown missed the entire season after having surgery for a sports hernia and a hip injury but will likely be full go in the offseason.
--TE Billy Miller had surgery in September for a torn Achilles' tendon and may be limited early in offseason workouts.
--FB Heath Evans underwent surgery for a torn ACL in his knee in late October and will probably be limited during the offseason workouts.
--MLB Mark Simoneau tore a triceps muscle early in training camp and had surgery but should be at full speed this spring.
--FS Chip Vaughn, a fourth-round draft pick last spring, had knee surgery in training camp but is expected to be ready for the offseason program.
FRANCHISE PLAYER: None.
TRANSITION PLAYER: None.
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS
--QB Mark Brunell, who turns 40 in September, may not be re-signed although he's considered to be a valuable backup to Drew Brees.
--TE Dan Campbell injured his knee in training camp and likely won't be re-signed.
--DT Kendrick Clancy was lost for the season when he injured his knee in the season opener and it's not known if he'll be offered a new contract.
--TE Darnell Dinkins was injured for the first half of the season and was inactive later in the season, so he may not be re-signed.
--SLB Scott Fujita is a solid four-year starter whom the Saints will likely identify as one of their top priorities in free agency.
--DT Anthony Hargrove had a big season as a backup and will likely be offered a new deal by the Saints.
--LS Jason Kyle is regarded by the Saints as one of the best long snappers in the league and could be re-signed.
--C Nick Leckey was a capable backup who the Saints will likely try to keep around for another year.
--TE Billy Miller tore his Achilles' tendon in the final preseason game but could be re-signed because of his locker room presence.
--SS Pierson Prioleau joined with Darren Sharper to be a mentor for the younger players and could be re-signed.
--FS Darren Sharper was the catalyst for the defense with nine interceptions and will be a priority to re-sign.
--DE Paul Spicer was signed when Charles Grant went on injured reserve and likely won't be back.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (*indicates restricted because of uncapped year)
--DT Remi Ayodele became a starter when Kendrick Clancy was lost for the season and will likely receive a tender offer from the Saints.
--*RB Mike Bell was the team's second-leading rusher and will likely be tendered by the Saints.
--LT Jermon Bushrod filled some big shoes when he was inserted into the lineup for Jammal Brown and will be tendered.
--DE Jeff Charleston has been a nice role player for the last two seasons and will likely be tendered.
--FB Kyle Eckel was signed to fill in for an injured Heath Evans and may or may not receive a tender offer from the Saints.
--*RG Jahri Evans, an All-Pro pick, will definitely receive a tender offer if he and the Saints don't agree on a long-term deal.
--*SS Roman Harper flourished in Gregg Williams' system and will likely be tendered after being a Pro Bowl alternate.
--MLB Marvin Mitchell is a promising young who starts when the Saints go to a 3-4 and will be tendered.
--*WR Lance Moore was bothered by ankle and hamstring injuries but is a valuable asset to the offense and likely will be tendered.
--FS Chris Reis is a huge special-teams contributor and will likely receive a tender from the Saints.
--*WR Courtney Roby has blossomed as a return man and is one of the Saints' top cover men on punts and kickoffs and will be tendered.
--*T Zach Strief was tendered in 2009 and will likely receive an offer again as a key backup and extra tight end.
--*TE David Thomas had a big season after coming to the Saints in a trade and will probably be tendered.
--RB Pierre Thomas has been the Saints' leading rusher the last two seasons and will be tendered.
--*CB Leigh Torrence was a backup until injuring his shoulder and may or may not be tendered.
--FS Usama Young was moved to safety this season and will probably receive a tender offer from the Saints.
EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS: None.
PLAYERS RE-SIGNED: None.
PLAYERS ACQUIRED: None.
PLAYERS LOST: None.