The New Orleans Saints may have a more cap-clearing offseason. That said, does trading former first-round pick Marshon Lattimore make sense?
Marshon Lattimore is entering his fifth season in the league, and a former first-round pick, he’ll have one more year on his contract. With that in mind, should the Saints look into what his value on the trade market could be?
The short, smart answer is no. Lattimore is valuable as the Saints No. 1 cornerback. Lattimore and veteran Janoris Jenkins made up one of the best cornerback duos in the NFL this past season. They’re both under contract for next season.
The Saints will already be more likely losing out on Marcus Williams this offseason, so trading Lattimore would deplete their secondary even further. Lattimore, who had a stellar rookie season then disappointed the two years after, had a solid season in 2020.
He recorded a career-high 62 tackles to go along with two interceptions. He had two tackles for a loss and 11 pass deflections as well. That said, Pro Football Focus noted that Lattimore was the league’s fifth-best cornerback at the start of last season.
One of the more important numbers for Lattimore was 6.1 percent, his missed tackle rate. It was the lowest of his career, but with the stat not being count in 2017, it was the best figure for just his past three seasons.
Lattimore is set to make $10.24 million next season.
He has zero dead cap, so if he were released, it wouldn’t carry any burden on the team. However, he’s far too valuable to release, but if the Saints aren’t sure they can make a strong move to keep him next offseason, it would be smart to trade him.
Given how the Saints have been able to retain their talent, the hope is that if Williams and Trey Hendrickson walk, the team will start to be able to bring back young, elite players. Black and Teal looked at what a potential Lattimore trade may look like.
Given that Marshon Lattimore has a connection with recently-signed Jags head coach Urban Meyer, the possibility could be there, but it’s still likely that other teams wouldn’t pay what the Saints would be looking to return for the Pro Bowl cornerback.
The Saints should have a strong understand if he’ll return at some point throughout next season. Then, if they feel that way, they can trade him if they aren’t in a Super Bowl-contending position.
For now, do not expect Lattimore to be headed elsewhere, and let’s hope he’s not headed elsewhere for quite a while.