Saints: 3 big-name receivers to trade for while Michael Thomas is out

Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /
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New Orleans Saints
JuJu Smith-Schuster (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /

Receivers New Orleans Saints Should Trade For – No. 3: JuJu Smith-Schuster

Oddly enough, the Saints could have signed JuJu Smith-Schuster over the offseason but there were never any ties between the two. To be fair, the Saints assumed they’d have Michael Thomas and this was also before the draft, so maybe the team felt they’d go after a receiver in the early rounds.

Smith-Schuster was an explosive receiver for the Steelers in his first two years but petered off in year three, posting career-lows in both receiving yards (552) and touchdowns (three). It’s worth noting that his career-low in receiving yards is still higher than Tre’Quan Smith’s career high but I digress.

This past year, Smith-Schuster had 97 receptions for 831 yards and nine trips to the end zone. This is exactly the kind of production the Saints need from their WR1 option and while it wasn’t a 1,000+ yard campaign, Smith-Schuster did this damage while competing with Chase Claypool, Diontae Johnson, and James Washington for targets.

In New Orleans, he’d a big fish in a small pond at the receiver spot, so it’s possible the Saints could get the 2018 versio of Smith-Schuster. During that season, the former USC wideout grabbed 111 catches for 1,426 yards and seven touchdowns. We’d take that in a heartbeat, wouldn’t we, Saints fans?

Smith-Schuster signed a one-year deal to return to Pittsburgh after he didn’t find what he was looking for in free agency. This means the Saints wouldn’t have to pay him much money (he’s owed just $8 million this year, per Spotrac) and those are the best kinds of deals.