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Winners or Losers? Grading more New Orleans Saints transactions

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Now, onto the Kenny Stills trade.

Oct 27, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) and wide receiver Kenny Stills (84) celebrates after a touchdown against the Buffalo Bills during the second half of a game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Saints defeated the Bills 35-17. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

When the news emerged of the Jimmy Graham trade, it was reported that the Saints were looking to possibly shop wide receivers. We knew it couldn’t have been Marques Colston, but we also wouldn’t dream that it would be Kenny Stills. As a fifth round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, Stills had a breakout sophomore season with the Saints. Arguably, he was the team’s best receiver last season, finishing with nearly 1,000 yards receiving.

Why on earth would the Saints move on from Kenny Stills? One can easily remember how general manager Mickey Loomis spoke about the talent on offense allowing the Saints to trade and gain defense. That figured to be the case for the team, trading away the Oklahoma receiver to the Miami Dolphins in exchange for Miami’s third round pick, and linebacker Dannell Ellerbe.

The reality of it all is this. New Orleans took a fifth round receiver and turned it into a linebacker who is better suited for a 3-4 scheme (Miami had him as a WLB in their 4-3 scheme) and figures to take Curtis Lofton’s spot. In addition, they gain the 78th overall pick in the draft. For those keeping score at home, that means the Saints now possess five of the top eighty picks. In a draft class that has a depthful wide receiver class, Stills is ultimately replaceable.

The loss of Stills will sting, and we’re sure to have growing pains from younger receivers, especially rookies. However, the team made out great with the deal, and oh by the way, they restructured the contract of Dannell Ellerbe to lower his salary cap figure.

Final Grade: A-

What do you think about the transactions the Saints are making? Is this a good sign or bad sign, in your opinion?

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