Reason No. 1: They Need Draft Picks Desperately
Currently, the Saints are projected to have -$81 million in cap space next season. Thus, they are going to have to make a lot of roster cuts, which is going to open up a lot of holes on the roster that they cannot fill via free agency.
So, how are they going to maintain a strong roster? That will have to come through the draft, where they can look to add young, cost-controlled talent.
Unfortunately, banking on rookies is generally not a good idea, and for that reason, you want to acquire as much depth as possible; if it’s a crapshoot, you want to roll the dice as many chances as you can.
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New Orleans has generally done the opposite- they have traded away extra draft picks to either add veteran players or trading up for prospects. That is generally a poor idea, and even though it has worked for them in the past, that luck, based on the law of averages, should regress negatively over time.
They already traded away their third-round pick to draft linebacker Zach Baun in last year’s draft, and any more dispensing of draft picks would be severely harmful for their long-term prospects.
Most importantly, the Saints NEED extra draft picks. Having one pick in each round is fine, but not so if they are going to have the type of game-changing draft classes that they need. In 2017, for instance, they appeared to be heading towards a rough future.
However, with an extra first-round and third-round pick, they were able to draft: Marshon Lattimore, Ryan Ramcyzk, Marcus Williams, Trey Hendrickson, and Alex Anzalone.
Had they not traded away receiver Brandin Cooks, that would have never happened, and it speaks to how an abundance of draft picks can do an organization so much good when it comes to rebooting their roster with younger players.