Yesterday the Who Dat Nation received the news that Saints defensive end-turned-linebacker Will Smith will be out for the entire 2013 season with a knee injury. Add that to the injuries already suffered by Victor Butler, Martez Wilson and Junior Gallette as well as Jonathan Vilma’s knee surgery and things are getting awfully thin on the back side of the defense’s front seven. With the free agent market running incredibly low on quality options, it pays to plan ahead. As far as outside linebacker goes, it may be a good idea for Mickey Loomis and Sean Payton to keep an eye on one of their favorite gold mines and look for options north of the border.
Canada has become a favorite talent pool for the Saints’ front office as of late. In each of the two most recent drafts Loomis & Company have used picks on players from our neighbor to the north. In 2012, the Saints used their third round pick on defensive lineman Akiem Hicks out of Regina. The black & gold were so pleased with the return on their pick that they went back to the great white north in 2013 with their sixth round pick selecting Rufus Johnson from Tarleton State. So far it looks like doubling down on Canada will pay off. With the linebacking corps already taking a beating this year, this could prove be a good year to test the theory “third time’s a charm.”
Cordarro Law was known as a defensive beast at Southern Miss and throughout Conference USA leading up to the 2012 NFL Draft. Able to play both defensive end and outside linebacker, Law racked up 27.5 sacks, 54 tackles for a loss, and 14 forced fumbles in his four seasons in college. Unfortunately for him though, he entered into a draft that was highly loaded on defensive and offensive line talent. As a result, he ended up going undrafted. He did come to sign a rookie free agent deal with the Seattle Seahawks but was unable to make it onto the final 53-man roster. Law finally ended up with the Calgary Stampeders in October of last year toward the end of the CFL season. So far through seven games in the 2013 season Law has put up 5 sacks, tying him for 4th most sacks this season in the entire CFL. He also has a forced fumble and two tackles for a loss.
While it’s unlikely there would be anyway to obtain Law before the end of the CFL’s season which ends in November, it’s always good to be prepared in the event of injuries down the stretch. With Law on pace for a 14-15 sack season in Calgary, he could be a big help toward the end of the NFL regular season or in a playoff run if the injury bug decides to show back up. With his body already in game shape and a couple weeks to learn how Rob Ryan runs his defense, he could easily fill a back up role almost immediately and be weapon capable helping finish out the season. It would also give him a head start on filling Smith’s role next season which many already believe may be in jeopardy following his unfortunate injury.
Bringing in a player of the caliber Law is showing himself to be in Calgary could be a real late season boost if the need should arise. With the success the Saints have already had with Canadian draft prospects, it wouldn’t be a big gamble to go after a proven commodity to help make a deep playoff push.