Saints might have to turn to trade market to land QB for 2022

New Orleans Saints (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
New Orleans Saints (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Saints have put their trust in Jameis Winston to be their quarterback this year but what happens after the 2021 season is in the books?

Winston returning is a possibility, of course, but he’s only signed for this season. If he plays well enough, teams could come calling and offering him a boatload of money. If he plays poorly, well — The Saints probably won’t want him back as anything more than a backup and even that’s a stretch.

The unfortunate news, however, is that NOLA might not be able to turn to the draft to address their need at the sport’s most important position. This isn’t a class that’s being praised for its quarterbacks and that’s become more evident as the former “obvious” No. 1 pick, Spencer Rattler, hasn’t looked like a No. 1 pick in recent weeks, getting benched against Texas last weekend.

Aside from Rattler, there’s Matt Corral out of Ole Miss, who looks to be a new candidate to be the No. 1 overall pick or at least the first quarterback selected in next year’s draft. There’s also Malik Willis out of Liberty, North Carolina’s Sam Howell, and Carson Strong from Nevada. While the Saints could trade up to take any of these players (probably not Corral though), these guys might not be ready to play from Day 1.

If the Saints move on from Jameis Winston, they might have to turn to the trade market.

Fortunately, some talented names should be on the trade block this offseason. When looking at the NFC, Kirk Cousins, Jimmy Garoppolo, and Russell Wilson could find themselves as trade candidates. In the AFC, quarterbacks such as Derek Carr, Drew Lock, Tua Tagovailoa, and Deshaun Watson could be options to trade for.

This might be the route to go for New Orleans in the offseason, especially if they can’t land Aaron Rodgers in free agency. Some of these guys wouldn’t come cheap (Carr and Wilson would be particularly expensive) but could really help this team in 2022 and beyond.

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The best-case scenario is that Winston plays well for the rest of the year and wants to stay in New Orleans for several more years. If that doesn’t happen, however, NOLA should turn their attention to landing a signal-caller via trade.