The New Orleans Saints went into this offseason knowing that they would most likely lose their No. 1 star defensive tackle, Sheldon Rankins. He was ending his rookie contract and his market value has risen to roughly $10-13 million per year.
New Orleans couldn’t pay that if they wanted to. In fact, they also traded another defensive tackle Malcom Brown for a seventh-round pick. Now, the Saints are down two defensive tackles and only roster four right now, thrusting Malcolm Roach into the starting lineup.
Last week, the Cincinnati Bengals released their long-time starting defensive tackle Geno Atkins. Atkins was a star in Cincinnati, but the new salary cap has forced almost all teams into cuts that they didn’t think or want to make.
After losing Sheldon Rankins and Malcom Brown, the Saints should show interest in newly released DT Geno Atkins.
The eleven-year NFL veteran has eight Pro-Bowl appearances and two first-team All-Pro selections during his time in Cincinnati. The 33-year-old tackle only had eight appearances and zero starts for the Bengals last year.
Atkins battled injuries all season long before eventually being placed on injured reserve to end his season. A new start in a new city could be exactly what he needs though. He has the potential for 10.0-plus sacks and 10-plus tackles for a loss.
He is coming off of a 4-year, $65 million deal that he signed in 2018. Obviously, with the new climate this season in the NFL, he is going to have to take a massive pay cut, but I think the Saints should take a chance on the veteran.
The worst that can happen is they sign him, and he adds depth to the defensive line. Best-case scenario, Atkins ends up starting with David Onyemata and the two of them thrive together. The black and gold should at least try to bring him in.