New Orleans Saints: Free agency decisions will impact team’s draft
NFL free agency starts on March 18. The NFL Draft starts on April 23. The New Orleans Saints have limited time to figure their roster out.
The New Orleans Saints finished 2019 13-3. They played and lost in the Wild Card round to the Minnesota Vikings.
With limited cap space, the Saints are in dangerous territory of seeing their top-notch roster depleted. Numerous players are free agents, and they’ll have to either replace them in the draft or pay them.
One will impact the other.
It’s obvious what the bulk of fans want.
Let Andrus Peat go. Let Eli Apple go. Re-sign Vonn Bell and keep the rest of the money to pay Marshon Lattimore and Alvin Kamara when the time comes. Then, make sure you do everything you can to re-sign Drew Brees, and if Teddy Bridgewater wants starter-level money, let him walk.
That seems like the general consensus.
The team’s draft will then be rather obvious.
They’ll have three distinct needs. They’ll need a player to take the pressure off Michael Thomas. They’ll need a steady cornerback option aside from Lattimore, and they’ll need a guard to replace Peat.
But, the team’s ideas of free agency could change drastically if a player like Eli Apple doesn’t request too much money. Apple wasn’t great throughout the season, but you don’t hold a team like the Cowboys to 10 points without a capable second-string cornerback.
Another scenario is re-signing Apple and then drafting a wide receiver or a Drew Brees’ heir like Jordan Love in the draft. There are just so many situations that will impact the draft, even potentially seeing Bell given a massive payday elsewhere.
For New Orleans, there’s the ideal, and then there’s the reality. We don’t know what the reality is yet so fans are just replaying dreams and hoping for the most favorable outcome. But, what we do now is a limited Saints team should still be a top NFC contender.
Kamara, Lattimore, Thomas, Marcus Williams, Marcus Davenport, Cameron Jordan, and company will be back. Rest assured that, whatever the next several months hold, the Saints will be a championship contender in 2020.