Every transaction, even ones as under-the-radar as this one, have some long-term ramifications. In the end, the goal of a good trade is for the short-term benefits and long-term benefits to suit the organization well.
In the form of a fifth-round pick, the Saints will part with some draft capital, which is something that they should not be doing given their poor salary cap situation. At the same time, they are likely to execute several trades in the next few offseason, meaning that they should easily be able to recoup that minor draft capital.
On paper, the fact that Alexander is due $25 million over the next two seasons would be a great concern. However, there is no dead money attached to his contract, meaning that they can release the veteran linebacker for no penalty.
Thus, this trade is completely about Alexander helping the team out this season, before the two likely part ways after this season. For the reasons I have previously illustrated, it is clear to see why they believe Alexander helps their chances.
Meanwhile, the inclusion of Kiko Alonso in the trade negates any salary cap ramifications of acquiring Alexander. Thus, their immediate financial flexibility remains the same as it was before, though I strongly advise them not to make any further changes.
They have already invested a lot in their defense, and have to hope that receivers Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders improve their offense.
A team with a +9 point differential doesn’t exactly have the makings of a team that should be doing whatever it to win a Super Bowl, even if they feel this is their last chance to win one for Drew Brees.