The New Orleans Saints went into the offseason eyeing an upgrade at the wide receiver position after the release of Emmanuel Sanders. However, they surprisingly didn’t do much to address the position.
It wasn’t until the selection of South Alabama wideout Kawaan Baker in the seventh round of the 2021 NFL Draft that they added their first wide receiver of the offseason.
At the moment, the depth chart behind Michael Thomas is a bit uncertain. For that reason, it might make sense to explore a trade to bolster their wide receiver room before the start of the season.
The New Orleans Saints could consider a trade for Jamison Crowder.
A fourth-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, Crowder spent his first four seasons in Washington before signing on with the Jets prior to the 2019 season.
He’s been the Jets’ leading receiver in each of the last two seasons with 137 catches for 1,532 yards and 12 touchdowns over the past two years. However, despite his recent success, he’s found himself the subject of trade rumors this offseason.
The Jets added Ole Miss standout Elijah Moore in the 2021 NFL Draft leaving Crowder as somewhat of the odd-man-out. The veteran slot receiver recently took a pay cut of over 50 percent, but he could still be on the trade market.
With the hole the Saints have at wide receiver, it might make sense to make the Jets an offer.
Tre’Quan Smith is expected to take on a larger role this season with Sanders now gone, but the team is lacking depth. Former undrafted free agent Marquez Callaway will likely be asked to fill a starting role in 2021.
There’s also exciting return man Deonte Harris who could receive more snaps on offense along with others such as Juwan Johnson, Lil’Jordan Humphrey, and Jake Lampman.
Still, the Saints could use another veteran to solidify the unit.
Crowder is almost exclusively a slot receiver and he doesn’t necessarily fit the mold that New Orleans looks for in their slots. The New Orleans Saints typically like to use “big slots” in that slot receiver role — consider it the Marques Colston role.
Smith is the likely candidate to fill that role in 2021, but trading for Crowder would allow Smith to play more on the outside meaning that the Saints wouldn’t have to rely on Callaway to play the role of starter opposite Thomas.
With Sanders and Jared Cook, two players who saw plenty of time in the slot last season, gone, the Saints need someone to take on their slot snaps. Crowder would be a worthwhile addition.
The biggest obstacle, of course, is the Saints’ cap situation. Crowder is set to hold a cap hit of over $6 million in 2021 after his pay cut leaving New Orleans little room for a trade.
They’d have to do some more cap manipulation, but if the Saints could make the financials work, Jamison Crowder would certainly be an excellent addition to their wide receiver corps at this stage of the offseason.