NFC South Free Agency Outlook: New Orleans Saints

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This offseason will be a busy one for the 2019 NFC South Champion New Orleans Saints. They currently have 24 free agents that are not under contract, roughly half of the roster. Here is a full list of those free agents, as well as some ideas of what they might do to prepare for the 2020 season.

Free Agents

Drew Brees, Quarterback

Teddy Bridgewater, Quarterback

Taysom Hill, Quarterback

Zach Line, Fullback

Dwayne Washington, Running back

Austin Carr, Wide Receiver

Keith Kirkwood, Wide Receiver

Andrus Peat, Guard

Cameron Tom, Guard

Patrick Omameh, Tackle

Eli Apple, Cornerback

PJ Williams, Cornerback

Johnson Bademosi, Cornerback

Justin Hardee, Cornerback

Vonn Bell, Safety

D.J. Swearinger, Safety

J.T. Gray, Safety

A.J. Klein, Linebacker

Manti Te’o, Linebacker

Stephone Anthony, Linebacker

Josh Martin, Linebacker

Noah Spence, Defensive End

David Onyemata, Defensive Tackle

Zach Wood, Long Snapper

Strengths

Running backs– New Orleans has two very solid running back options under contract for 2020. Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray are one of the best 1-2 punch backfields in the entire league.

Defensive LineDavid Onyemata made 15 starts for the Saints last season, but that’s all they will potentially be losing to free agency. They have a good core locked up for another season in Cameron Jordan, Marcus Davenport, and Sheldon Rankins. The Saints are in good shape at D-line.

Wide Receiver– Whether in free agency or through the draft, New Orleans needs to find a number two receiver to line up on the other side of Michael Thomas. I would call this a strength because New Orleans is not losing anyone of real value at receiver, as Kirkwood and Carr were not significant contributions to the team in 2019, combining for just one catch for nine yards. I could see the Saints being aggressive in their approach to bolster the wide receiving core. The ball is in their court here.

Weaknesses

Quarterback– Obviously, it is not ideal for all three quarterbacks to be free agents. There isn’t much doubt that the Saints will bring Drew Brees back for at least one more year. However, it is unlikely that the Saints will be able to retain Teddy Bridgewater, as he will likely get a shot to start elsewhere next season. Taysom Hill has also stated that he wants a chance to be a number one quarterback, it may be difficult for the Saints to keep him as well.

Secondary- There are seven members of the secondary (4 cornerbacks) (3 safeties) that New Orleans does not currently have under contract. Vonn Bell, PJ Williams, Eli Apple, and Justin Hardee all saw a significant amount of playing time in 2019, so the Saints will need to retain at least a couple of these guys.

Linebackers- Demario Davis led the way for the New Orleans linebacker core in 2019. After that, AJ Klein was the only significant contributor. Kiko Alonso recorded only 25 tackles, and Stephone Anthony missed nearly the entire season (1 tackle). This is another position where the Saints will have to make some significant moves.

Predicted Re-Signings

Drew Brees

AJ Klein

Andrus Peat

Vonn Bell

PJ Williams

Zach Line

J.T. Gray

Zach Wood

 

 

 

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