New Orleans Saints don’t tender Kirkwood, signs with Panthers

New Orleans Saints opt to not tender restricted free agent WR Keith Kirkwood; instead, he signs with the division rival Carolina Panthers.

The day arrived that the New Orleans Saints had to make a decision to put a tender on their restricted free agents or not to. The two most notable of that group of free agents are quarterback Taysom Hill and wide receiver Keith Kirkwood.

The Saints had already announced that they were going to put a first-round tender on quarterback Tayson Hill. However, the big question mark was what they were going to do with sophomore wide receiver, Keith Kirkwood.

This time, the question has been answered. The New Orleans Saints refused to put a tender on the wide receiver making him available to anyone. It was reported that Kirkwood heard from at least four teams after the Saints didn’t tender him.

Shortly after the decision, Kirkwood announced that he was going to sign with the Saints divisional rival Carolina Panthers. Kirkwood is not the first Saints free agent to leave the New Orleans Saints for the Panthers.

Kirkwood will now join former teammate Teddy Bridgewater who signed with Carolina earlier in the week. He will also join former college coach Matt Rhule, who is now the head coach of the Carolina Panthers.

Rhule also hired LSU coach Joe Brady who coached in New Orleans during Kirkwood’s rookie season. While Kirkwood might have found a new home, the wide receiver problems continue to multiply for the Saints with his loss.

The New Orleans Saints’ biggest concern this offseason has been the need of a wide receiver. Ted Ginn is on the decline and not able to produce like he used to. Tre’Quan Smith has not panned out yet to be something special.

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Kirkwood spent all season last year on the IR. He really hasn’t had a chance yet to assume that No. 2 role that the Saints need so badly. With his departure, the Saints wide receiver question only heightens. Will they sign someone in free agency or draft a rookie?

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