Saints won't use franchise tag on Jermon Bushrod, according to report

Mike Ehrmann

According to sources, the New Orleans Saints will not use the franchise tag on Jermon Bushrod.

According to reports, the New Orleans Saints will not use the franchise tag on offensive tackle Jermon Bushrod. On Friday afternoon, NFL insider Adam Schefter reported the Saints would allow Bushrod to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

For more on the Saints, visit Canal Street Chronicles

Bushrod will hit the open market as a two-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl champion left tackle.

He was the blindside protector for Drew Brees since 2009, which is the year the franchise won their first-ever Lombardi Trophy. However, over the past two seasons, Brees has been under duress, and the team may want to upgrade the position.

It would be in New Orleans' best interest to protect their prized asset: No. 9.

This is a very deep draft class in 2013, especially in the trenches. NFL draft analyst Mike Mayock has six offensive linemen with unanimous first-round grades. And after a disappointing 7-9 season, where Drew Brees was sacked 26 times (17 negative plays on the left side), the Saints will be selecting at 15th overall in the draft.

However, this could work out for both parties, as Bushrod, 28, will demand a nice salary in free agency.

More in the NFL:

Chip Kelly wins Day 1 of the Combine

Kyle Long's winding road to the NFL

Michael Turner is probably done in Atlanta

Should QBs throw at the Combine? We asked an agent

Stupid things said at the NFL Combine

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