The New Orleans Saints had a rough season that was marred by injury as they saw starting quarterback Jameis Winston go down with a season-ending injury. After that, the Saints had started three different quarterbacks under center, but still finished with a record of 9-8.
When the regular season came to an end, Sean Payton surprisingly decided to retire after 15 years with the team. Dennis Allen, who was the team’s defensive coordinator, was named the new head coach. New Orleans has the second-best odds to win the NFC South (+260) according to DraftKings Sportsbook, despite not having a starting quarterback.
New Orleans Saints free agency preview
Positional needs: QB, WR, LT, CB, S, LB
Before the Saints can make any free-agent signings this season, they need to get their cap in order. New Orleans has one of the worst cap situations in the NFL as they are $42 million over the cap. This means that they will have to make some contract restructures and tough cuts along the way. After the Saints do those necessary things, they need to replenish their team with talent at the skill positions.
Players to target
Jameis Winston, QB
If I’m the Saints, I would try to re-sign Winston, who was playing well before getting hurt in the middle of the season. In seven games, the veteran quarterback completed 59% of his passes for 1,170 yards, 14 touchdowns and three interceptions. Winston showed that he could take care of the ball last season and if you add some more receivers, then the Saints might be able to win the division.
Terron Armstead, LT
The veteran offensive lineman will be one of the highly coveted free agents, if the Saints do not decide to re-sign him. The 30-year-old Armstead missed nine games last season due to injury, but the previously two seasons played 29 out of 32 regular season games. For a team to have success, the quarterback’s blindside needs to be protected and Armstead is one of the better tackles in the league. His calculated market value is a four-year, $95 million deal, according to Spotrac.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling, WR
With Michael Thomas set to return next season, the Saints need to draft a wide receiver and also sign a veteran to play opposite of him. One receiver that should be their radar is MVS, who is scheduled to be a free agent and likely won’t be returning to Green Bay.
When healthy Valdes-Scantling can stretch the field, which is something that Saints’ lacked last season. Last season with the Packers, the 28-year-old only played in 11 games due to injury. But he still recorded 26 receptions (55 targets) for 430 yards and three touchdowns.