The most important Saints free agency signing that flew under the radar
The New Orleans Saints were pretty quiet in the first few days of the 2020 league year.
Many players and teams made headlines for splashy moves in free agency, most notably with former New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady moving to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Saints division grew much more difficult in the first few days.
A few players left the Big Easy, like cornerback Eli Apple who signed with the Las Vegas Raiders, quarterback Teddy Bridgewater who is now the quarterback of the Carolina Panthers, and linebacker AJ Klein who is with the Buffalo Bills.
The Saints also resigned a few players, most notably, of course, being quarterbacks Drew Brees and Taysom Hill.
Former Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins, who was a part of the Super Bowl-winning squad in 2010, also resigned with New Orleans after spending six years on the Philadelphia Eagles (including winning a Super Bowl with them).
One of the most important signings of the 2020 free agency so far for New Orleans seemed to go completely under the radar though.
Long snapper Zach Wood, who has been with the team since 2017, re-signed on a four year deal worth $4.78 million with $1.3 million guaranteed.
You might be thinking, “Why is re-signing a long snapper so important?”
One of the Saints bright spots last year (and there were many) was the special teams. Punts, PATs, and field goals all require a long snapper accurately sending the ball 7-15 yards (depending on the play) to the holder or punter.
Zach Wood had been New Orleans’s long snapper for all punts and kicks since the 2017 season and keeping him around keeps the continuity and chemistry between and punter Thomas Morestead and kicker Wil Lutz.
So many times in the past years New Orleans has leaned on Lutz to kick a game-winning field goal or even put the game out of reach. And Morestead has been one of the league’s best punters, consistently putting kicks within the opponent’s 10-yard line.
Keeping Wood around on a long term deal keeps the special teams without major changes and will allow that unit to be another force to keep up the Saints winning ways.