No one could pin down New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis regarding trade rumors on Tuesday. All the GM would say about those rumors was this:
"I'll say this — we've talked to a number of teams in front of us about the possibilities of moving forward," Loomis said. "It's all preliminary discussion; nothing concrete, just we've expressed a desire to talk about it with a number of teams."
But Scout.com's Senior NFL reporter, Adam Caplan, believes the Saints' draft-day target is a little closer to home — LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey.
"They really need help at defensive tackle and want Glenn Dorsey," Caplan told saintsinsider.com earlier this week. "Both starters are in their 30s and the Saints don't have anyone who is set to replace them. Plus the run defense is shaky."
There probably isn't a Saints fan that wouldn't want to plug Dorsey next to Charles Grant. But the big questions are the cost of the deal and who the Saints would deal with.
And Loomis knows those questions all too well.
"I think that depends on what it costs to move, in effect," Loomis said. "The first step is to get an idea of what the cost to move forward is going to be. That's really what the discussions to date have been; A — are you interested in moving backwards, B — what is your thinking in terms of compensation? There have been a few talks about that."
There are nine teams selecting in front of the Saints, meaning there are nine potential trade partners. But, Caplan said that two teams in particular make the most sense if the Saints are out to move up.
The first is the Atlanta Falcons, who hold the No. 3 selection. If it seems odd to think the Saints would trade with a division rival, the Falcons might consider it. They're rumored to be interested in Boston College QB Matt Ryan, but No. 3 might be too high to take him. Plus, they have three second-round picks and the difference between No. 3 and No. 10 isn't that severe.
But the cost, Caplan said, would likely be steep.
"If they wanted to trade with Atlanta it would likely take swapping picks in the first, plus their second, third, and fourth-round picks (which the Saints don't have after trading it for LB Jonathan Vilma)," Caplan said. "They also might have to throw in a pick later in the draft or one for next year (probably a 4th)."
The other suitor would be Kansas City, which selects No. 5. The Chiefs have already been busy and also have the No. 17 overall pick after the Jared Allen trade. Some believe the Chiefs are also interested in Ryan, but they appear to have so many overall needs that the difference between selecting at No. 5 and No. 10 wouldn't be that much.
A deal with the Chiefs, Caplan said, would give the Saints a little more in the way of value.
"It would take swapping picks in the first round, plus their second rounder and a late round pick, and they would get a third rounder back (Minnesota's)," Caplan said. The point value differential between 10 and 5 is only 400 points. It's 900 from 10 to 3."
That 500-point difference on the draft value chart could mean the difference between the Saints mortgaging nearly their entire draft or adding an early-second day pick to compensate for the loss of their second-rounder. That would give them the chance to draft perhaps the best defensive player in the draft at any position.
While the Chiefs would seem a better trading partner, the Saints might not have a choice if the Falcons are also interested in selecting Dorsey. Like the Saints, the Falcons also need help at defensive tackle and some mock drafts have the Falcons taking Dorsey.
If that's the case, the Saints might be better off standing pat and selecting at No. 10, rather than risk another Ricky Williams-esqe fiasco.
"You're just looking to get value for your pick," Loomis said. "Value is dependent upon how you view your own team. There have been cases in the past where we've wanted to move backwards and get more football players. There have been cases where we've had a specific guy targeted and have wanted to move forward to make that happen. I wouldn't want to speak for anyone else other than our own team, and it kind of depends on how you view yourself."
Matthew Postins is the publisher of Saintsinsider.com. He is an award-winning member of the Pro Football Writers Association.