We hear it's likely this offseason that the Saints will tender OLG Carl Nicks at the highest level — a team would have to give up first- and third-round picks to acquire him under the terms of the expiring Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Nicks, who has three years of experience, is due to become a restricted free agent.
Coming off a Pro Bowl appearance, Nicks would no doubt like to get a long-term offer from the Saints. They'd be interested in discussing a multiyear deal with him down the line, but it doesn't appear they will do that this offseason.
The Saints could be crunched for salary-cap space if the cap is reinstated under a new CBA, and they would like to hold off on giving Nicks the lucrative long-term deal he's expected to seek.
The Saints' other elite guard, Jahri Evans, played under the highest tender in 2009, after his third season, and the team tendered him at the same level last offseason before the two sides worked out a long-term deal. The Saints will probably take a similar approach in their dealings with Nicks.
Follow Dan Parr on Twitter