WR Marques Colston, the Saints' leader in receiving yards in four of his five NFL seasons, is heading into his contract year. In a normal offseason, a source said, Colston's contract situation would draw more attention from the Saints, but teams are not allowed to be in direct contact with players, per rules of the ongoing lockout, and the Saints' focus will be on the 26 players they have under contract who are due to become free agents when the lockout ends.
New Orleans signed Colston to a three-year extension before training camp in 2008, and the deal was designed as a bridge contract that would allow him to "take another bite out of the apple" in a few years, GM Mickey Loomis said at the time the deal was announced.
Colston, a seventh-round pick in '06, may jump at the chance to become an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career, but he's a key piece in the Saints' offense. Sources expect the Saints will try to craft an extension to keep him off the open market before free agency in 2012 begins. He's been highly productive, has great size, good hands and is willing to play through pain. Colston has undergone several surgeries in recent years, so there are some concerns about how his health will hold up long term.
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