Analyzing the New Orleans Saints pending free agents

Jameis Winston #2 of the New Orleans Saints (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Jameis Winston #2 of the New Orleans Saints (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

IDL Sheldon Rankins

While many believe that star defensive linemen change a game, I have actually found that depth on the defensive line is much more important. With the Saints likely to cut Malcolm Brown, that depth may start to dwindle.

Given his draft pedigree, it is likely that a team overpays for Sheldon Rankins, meaning the Saints will be even thinner on the defensive line. However, if affordable, he could provide some value.

The 26-year-old appeared to be on the verge of a breakout after he totaled eight sacks and 25 pressures in his third season in 2018, but, unfortunately, he suffered an Achilles injury in the playoffs, and has just 3.5 sacks and 20 pressures in the two seasons since then.

With that in mind, perhaps teams will overlook Rankins, which makes sense for contending teams who can’t afford to take that risk.

For the Saints, however, who are looking for upside, Rankins staying healthy and getting back into form could allow them to find some much-needed surplus value on the open market.

I doubt that Rankins is quite affordable enough, but if available for around $4 million, the Saints may want to consider bringing him back.

Chances He’s Back: Low

Highest Contract Worth Offering: One Year, $4 Million

Should He Be Back? Yes If Market Is Suppressed