Saints Free Agency

Saints: The 2016 free agent class in review

tanania
Aug 26, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton sits with owners Gayle Benson and Tom Benson and general manager Mickey Loomis before a preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 26, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton sits with owners Gayle Benson and Tom Benson and general manager Mickey Loomis before a preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports /
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Nov 13, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian (13) celebrates a touchdown as New Orleans Saints defensive end Paul Kruger (99) looks on during the second half of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Broncos defeated the Saints 25-23. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 13, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian (13) celebrates a touchdown as New Orleans Saints defensive end Paul Kruger (99) looks on during the second half of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Broncos defeated the Saints 25-23. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports /

B-. . DE. 1 year, $3 million. PAUL KRUGER

Okay, B- might be a bit of a high grade for Kruger. When the Saints brought him in I hoped for a little more ability as a rusher. But Kruger does a few things solidly well, and given the position the Saints were in, I agree with his signing.

The Saints were already in the market for a DE when Hau’oli Kikaha went to IR. The problem was, there was no talent available. And what talent there was came at too steep a price for the cap-strapped Saints. So they had to make a move somewhere. That move was Paul Kruger.

Kruger actually signed a three-year deal, but the second and third years are voidable. I’m not sure if the Saints will elect to keep him on for next year, but I expect, either way, he won’t be back for a third.

Like I said, Kruger struggled to get after the quarterback. But he did plenty of other things well. He was great against the run, and consistently set the edge for New Orleans. And when asked to drop back into coverage, Kruger was surprisingly effective. He’s a smart player, who snuffed out his share of flat routes and screens. The Saints defense was better with him than they would have been without him.

Still, I hope he’s not a starter next year.

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