The New Orleans Saints addressed their need for a No. 2 receiver with the signing of Emmanuel Sanders. Could the Saints add more depth at that position?
With the draft this week, teams are positioning themselves for the future with free-agent signings, trades, and draft expectations. With that comes potential impact players available on the market. One such player is six-year veteran Marqise Lee who was recently cut by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Could he be a player the New Orleans Saints look to sign?
On the surface, a signing like this would raise some eyebrows. Lee has suffered back-to-back season-ending knee injuries in 2018 and 2019.
This came on the heels of his two most productive years in the NFL.
The 2016 season saw Lee catch a career-high 63 passes for 851 yards and 3 touchdowns. He followed up that campaign in 2017 with again consistent numbers, catching 56 passes for 702 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Should the Saints take a chance on a guy who has only played in six games the last two seasons?
Consider the risk-reward.
Lee was due to make around seven million dollars this upcoming season with Jacksonville, so this is surely a cost-cutting measure for them.
A guy coming off an injury like that may not even command half of that to sign him could be worth it. If you even get a semblance of the 2016 or 2017 Lee as your No. 3 receiver, then your offense automatically goes to the next level.
Consider who is currently your No. 3 receiver.
Tre’Quan Smith has flashed moments of good receiver play, but he consistently has not been able to sustain that. His most productive year came his rookie season when he caught 28 passes for 427 yards and 5 touchdowns.
He was even more disappointing this past season only catching 18 passes for 234 yards. Injuries have also plagued Smith as well as he has only played in 13 games his first two seasons. The risk here may be worth the reward indeed.
When you also factor in that Blake Bortles was the Jaguars quarterback when Lee had his most productive year, it makes you wonder how much better a medically healthy Lee would be with future Hall of Famer Drew Brees throwing to him.
If the New Orleans Saints window of success is closing (or closed as Brandon Marshall foolishly said) then why not try to get even more weapons for Brees at his disposal? A healthy Marqise Lee may just be the guy.