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Senior NFL Columnist

Marques Colston staying put with the Saints makes sense

Sometimes in free agency, the best spot for a player is re-signing with his own team.

There's familiarity. There's comfort. There's a right fit. There are no moving hassles.

That's the case for New OrleansSaints receiver Marques Colston, who signed a five-year deal worth $35 million Tuesday to stay with the Saints.

Colston is perfect for the Saints offense, a tough, middle-of-the-field receiver who can make the tough catches. In a different system, he might not be as effective.

Colston doesn't run that well. If another team paid him big money to leave the Saints, they would expect a down-the-field vertical threat. That's not who he is as a player.

"If you're looking for home-run plays, stretching a defense, he's not it," said one NFC general manager. "I'm not sure how big the market would have been for him."

Colston is a big receiver who runs well enough, but is helped by having speed players outside of him.

In New Orleans, his big body is an effective part of the offense. Then there are the knee problems. He's had a reported four surgeries on his knees, which makes him a risk for another team. The Saints know what they have and they can manage his body, which they've already done in his time there.

I remember the summer when Colston came to the Saints as a seventh-round pick. The Saints trained in Jackson, Miss., that year and I asked coach Sean Payton for a guy who might surprise and make the team and even contribute.

He went on and on about Colston. I gave that name to some of my fantasy football-playing friends and he helped them win their leagues.

Now he's a veteran player signing a big contract to stay with the Saints and be part of one of the NFL's best passing games.

Staying put made way too much sense. Colston did the right thing. The Saints did the right thing.


Pete Prisco has covered the NFL for three decades, including working as a beat reporter in Jacksonville for the Jaguars. He hosted his own radio show for seven years, and is the self-anointed star of CBS Sports' show, Eye on Football. When he's not watching game tape, you can find Pete on Twitter or dreaming of an Arizona State national title in football.
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