Saints Free Agency

3 big-name Free Agent targets for the New Orleans Saints in 2018

mdmellow
CHARLOTTE, NC - NOVEMBER 17: Head coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints looks on during the Saints' game against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on November 17, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - NOVEMBER 17: Head coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints looks on during the Saints' game against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on November 17, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images) /
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MIAMI GARDENS, FL – JANUARY 01: Jarvis Landry
MIAMI GARDENS, FL – JANUARY 01: Jarvis Landry /

Jarvis Landry – Wide Receiver

I know what you’re thinking: ‘Why would we commit to a big-contract WR if we let Cooks walk?’

The answer is that Cooks was very up-front about his unhappiness in the Saints system. You don’t pay a player who puts his own interests above the team’s.

Landry is the most likely of all the players on this list to be snapped up and re-signed before he hits the market. He has been a rock for the Miami Dolphins passing game since he was drafted out of LSU in 2014.

He is a unique blend of sure hands and run-after-catch ability. His greatest asset may be his vision once he has the ball in his hands. In 2016 Landry had the second-most YAC of any WR in the league. 

If the QB can get the ball in Landry’s hands quickly, he’s effective at turning would-be 5 yard gains into 15 or 20 yard gains.

He refuses to go down, effectively turning into a running back once he has made the catch.

Just look at this play against the Cardinals from week 14 last year.

For any other player, it would have been a 5 yard gain and a 4th down on Miami’s 30yd line. Instead, Landry breaks two tackles and goes 71 yards to set up a Damien Williams touchdown.

Landry is at his most dangerous when working underneath, and that makes him a perfect complement to Saints field-stretcher Michael Thomas.

The only knock on Landry is his lack of touchdown production, only pulling in 8 combined scores over the past two years.

But if there’s anyone who knows how to get a dynamic, sure-handed receiver into the end zone, it’s Sean Payton.

The current Saints WR depth chart thins out very quickly after the top three of Thomas, Snead, Ginn Jr. And while there’s a sense of cautious optimism about Ginn Jr’s impact this year, it’s not shared by me.

At his absolute best Ginn has been a good – not great – downfield threat with a bad penchant for dropping open balls. Not to mention, he’s also 32 years old.

So that leaves a total of two known entities at WR for the Saints, and next year Willie Snead will himself become a restricted free agent, along with notable fellow wide-out Brandon Coleman.

Investing in another receiver may become a necessity depending on how ‘the unknowns’ perform this season.

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