Linebacker did not appear to be a need for the Saints, but when you take a closer look, it may actually have the best spot for them to improve.
Anzalone’s durability and lack of track record make him far from a reliable option, and there was little depth present behind him. Inserting a more athletic and versatile player should theoretically improve their ability to defend the pass, particularly over the middle of the field.
Since Alexander’s contract is easy to get out of after this season, he is a pure rental for this season. For such minimal draft capital that New Orleans is likely to more than recoup at some point, I do not have any major objections to parting with a fifth-round pick.
Is this a trade I would have made? Probably not. After all, linebacker depth isn’t exactly something that moves the needle in the modern NFL, and the Saints haven’t shown enough to prove they are a true Super Bowl contender.
Regardless, there isn’t much harm to this trade, and who knows? Perhaps Alexander will stay healthy and provide them with the defensive jolt they need!
Hopefully, this is the only “win-now” move the Saints make. The greatest reinforcement they can get is getting Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders.
From there, the organization must realize they have now done everything in their power to win, and it’s up to the execution of the players and coaching staff to take them to where they want to go.