Much like with many other teams around the NFL, injury and Covid-19 protocols made it difficult for the Saints to have their entire team together for most of the season. Both Marquez Callaway and Emmanuel Sanders missed time.
Callaway, an undrafted free agent, showed potential and could slide into a high-impact role next season.
However, if the New Orleans Saints are going to save $6.5 million, it’s going to because they believe in Deonte Harris. With Drew Brees leading the Saints, Harris ended the 2020 season on a positive note.
The 23-year-old is at a slight disadvantage as he stands just 5-foot-6, but his speed makes him one of the most dynamic players on the field. Harris originally made a name for himself in the return game.
The Saints have a plethora of highly talented wide receiver, and with several having promising talent, it may be time to release Emmanuel Sanders.
He was both a rookie and an All-Pro in 2019. While he didn’t repeat that success this past season, he started to show a more diverse skill set. Harris started to help his stock when he became a threat for Brees in the passing game.
While Harris was a non-factor against the Bucs in the team’s Divisional Round loss, the second-year receiver had arguably the best game of his career in the team’s Wild Card game against the Bears. He had seven receptions on seven targets. He ended with 83 yards.
What’s even more impressive is that he did it while being in on just 31 percent of the offensive snaps. That was a trend for Harris throughout the season. The opportunity just wasn’t always there for the speedster.
He played in just nine games and ended with 20 receptions and 186 receiving yards. Harris should see more time as a third-string receiver this coming season. That said, the opportunity was there for Sanders, who ended the season with 14 games played and 726 yards.
The former Pro Bowler needed to be better, and while it’s not clear if this specific cap-saving measure is on the table, Harris’ ability to take his game to the next level could be a reason why it does happen.