Saints Free Agency

Saints: The 2016 free agent class in review

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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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Dec 18, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; New Orleans Saints kicker Wil Lutz (3) against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Saints defeated the Cardinals 48-41. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 18, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; New Orleans Saints kicker Wil Lutz (3) against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Saints defeated the Cardinals 48-41. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

B+. . K. 1 year, $450,000. WIL LUTZ

I’ll admit, when Lutz had a few early kicks blocked (though they generally made it through anyway), I had my doubts. Some still question the trajectory of his kicks. But I think Lutz has shown enough for fans to be optimistic that Payton may have finally found his guy at kicker.

For years the Saints kicker position has been a revolving door. One solid but unspectacular year after another. More than a few games lost at the foot of their somewhat-adequate kickers. Payton, I’m sure, was more fed up with it than even us fans.

So no surprise that, when Lutz supposedly had the best kicker workout Payton had ever seen, he brought him on immediately. And after a few shakey kicks early on, I think it’s pretty clear. Lutz will be the Saints kicker going forward.

He’ll earn a bigger contract than this in 2017, but kickers never break the bank. Assuming he keeps on developing, he could be a great player for this team. And even as he is, he’s better than Saints fans are used to.

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