Signing free agent wide receiver Brandon Marshall is a solid move for the New Orleans Saints. Here, we lay out why this is a good deal for the Black and Gold.
I can read Saints fans’ minds. Some of you are out there thinking “Here we go again; last week it was Dez Bryant, this week it’s Brandon Marshall”. You are thinking that these guys are old and don’t have much tread left on the tires. You are wondering why we don’t pick up a younger guy to help, if we pick up anyone at all.
You think with an offense that just scored 51 points this weekend and had beaten three of the better defenses in the league over weeks prior, why do we need more offense? Shouldn’t we look for help on the back end of the defense? And why Marshall? He’s been known to be a locker room issue.
Let’s take those issues one by one and break them down.
Item number 1: Don’t second guess the Saints here.
The Saints have crafted a fine offensive machine here. They have quality at various levels of the offense. But to be a GREAT offense you must keep moving regardless of adversity.
Let’s look briefly at last season. When Andrus Peat went down, you had Senio Kelemete there to take his spot. You also had Josh LeRibeus. Heck, one of our brightest spots last year was rookie Ryan Ramczyk taking over from Zach Strief. Having depth is golden; invaluable.
Earlier this season, we began the year without Mark Ingram. Alvin Kamara shouldered basically the entire rushing load for the offense. Kamara is a special back, but he’s only one person. He was going to get beaten up by himself. Ingram’s return made this offense turn up a gear.
That’s the Saints’ thought process with bringing in another receiver. Michael Thomas is having an All-Pro season. I won’t even put it out there in the universe about anything happening. Read between the lines there. But having another veteran presence is not only a good idea, it could be a necessity. And it takes some of the pressure off Thomas.
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Brandon Marshall is older and has less tread on the tires. But he can still be a difference maker in certain situations. Marshall is a guy who has put many skins up on the wall. At 6-foot-5, he can be highly effective on 50/50 balls. He’s a big bodied player who knows how to use that to his advantage. He has value.
The Saints not only want to protect themselves from anything catastrophic, but also want to get one more tool for Sean Payton’s shed. WR production numbers beyond Thomas were not good, so it was a good idea to bring in a veteran talent.
And one more thing. Adding Keith Kirkwood to the roster gave us four receivers on the roster. The Saints traditionally keep five actives. Yes, you can move Kamara out there. You can push Arnold out there. Heck, even Taysom Hill lines up wide occasionally. But the fact remains that we only have four wide receivers and we usually have five. If one of four gets hurt, you only have enough on the roster to fill out the actual three typical receiver spots. That’s scary, and we don’t need to see that.