5 New Orleans Saints playing for a 2016 job over the final three games

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Oct 15, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (59) against the Atlanta Falcons during the second half of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Saints defeated the Falcons 31-21. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

1. Dannell Ellerbe

The New Orleans Saints owe a lot of money to somebody who can’t seem to stay healthy, which is why a weakside linebacker is one of the top priorities for the upcoming draft.  But there’s a conflict.

When Dannell Ellerbe is on the field for the Saints in 2015, he’s arguably one of their best players on defense.  In fact, the Saints are 4-1 this season with Ellerbe playing.  Without him, they’re 1-7.  Talk about having an effect…

In five games, he has logged 34 total tackles, a pass defended, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.  He’s all over the field, stretching the sidelines and chasing down ball carriers.  He’s also great in coverage — a weak spot for the Saints this year.

Next: 10 Saints players who could be gone in 2016

While Dannell Ellerbe has proved a lot in such a little amount of time, he still has a lot to prove in these final three games, and that begins with staying healthy.  Is the risk worth the reward?  The Saints have to figure that out.  For now, Ellerbe must do all he can to persuade them.  His talents are undeniable.