Kwon Alexander, who was deemed the “linebacker savior” in the middle of the year, now finds himself a must-cut by the Saints this offseason.
It seems like we have been talking on Who Dat Dish for years about the Saints‘ need for another linebacker alongside Demario Davis, and for years, New Orleans hasn’t done anything about it outside of draft Zach Baun from Wisconsin.
Alex Anzalone and Kiko Alonso, two players who were oftentimes hurt, do not count. Toward the end of the NFL trade deadline last year, the black and gold made a surprising move. They acquired a big-name linebacker from the San Francisco 49ers — Kwon Alexander.
The fifth-year linebacker had a Pro Bowl season in 2017 with the Niners. He came into New Orleans ahead of their Week 10 matchup against San Francisco. He only played 61 percent of snaps and only recorded four tackles.
However, as time progressed, so did Alexander’s performance with the defense. From Week 10 to Week 16, Alexander would rack up 27 tackles, four passes defended, one hit on the quarterback, one forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries.
The day after the Saints’ Christmas Day game, Alexander was diagnosed with a season-ending torn Achilles tendon. He has since had surgery and began recovering from that injury, but there is a looming question — will he be the same?
Unfortunately, the Saints don’t have the opportunity to find out. They are roughly $80 million over the cap limit right now and Alexander has one of the highest paying contracts on the team. He currently makes $13.2 million per year with no dead money if released
The fact that he makes top-six money per year on the team paired with his injury doesn’t bode well for how New Orleans might deal with him this offseason.
Unless he is willing to take a massive pay cut, I believe that Alexander is a must-cut in order to save money. The Saints can then turn around and go back to the drawing board in the draft to try and find a fitting replacement for Alexander.
Alexander is surely not going to be the only victim of the cap limit, but he should be one of them.