Saints re-signing Noah Spence could point towards bigger headline

It’s about that time for the New Orleans Saints.

With the offseason here, the Mickey Loomis-led franchise should see quite an active slate of offseason moves. One of their first moves was releasing Nick Easton, saving around $6 million in cap space. They also came to terms with Drew Brees on a restructured contract.

Both those moves will tremendously help the Saints get closer to normal cap levels. They’re still quite a ways off and could lose both Marcus Williams and Trey Hendrickson because of their cap struggles.

That said, they’re already preparing to lose the latter of those two as the team has re-signed defensive end, Noah Spence.

The New Orleans Saints re-signed defensive end Noah Spence, who missed the entire 2020 season due to an offseason ACL tear.

While the team re-signing Spence doesn’t necessarily mean anything in and of itself, it may signal that they’re not expecting to bring back Trey Hendrickson. Hendrickson had a breakout season in a contract year. He recorded 13.5 sacks and is expected to have high-value offers this offseason.

That said, Spence is a former second-round pick, so he should offer some depth at full strength. The 6-foot-2 27-year-old has yet to play a game with the Saints but spent three seasons with the Bucs and one with the Football Team.

It’s tough to gauge what his value on the team will be, but unless he shows something unexpected in training camp, he’ll likely be behind Davenport or Jordan. In 16 games (3 starts) as a rookie, Spence recorded 5.5 sacks and 3 forced fumbles.

He’ll have the skillset to make an impact, and given how Davenport has had injury issues, the opportunity for Spence should be there as well. Everything is lining up for him to have a solid season in the Big Easy.

Sadly, the team re-signing Spence should mean that they aren’t confident that Hendrickson will be back. That said, Saints Wire’s John Sigler also assumed that Hendrickson, with the Saints cap issues, won’t be back, potentially giving some snaps to Spence.

“Hendrickson is likely to leave New Orleans on a hefty free agent deal, while Granderson is seeking to build on his breakout 5-sack 2020 campaign. If Hendrickson does leave, there’s room for Spence in the rotation behind Cameron Jordan and Marcus Davenport if he performs well this summer,” Sigler wrote.

Hendrickson broke out alongside Jordan, and there should be hope that Spence could do the same.