Trey Hendrickson would have boosted Saints’ pass rush

Trey Hendrickson, Cincinnati Bengals. (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images)
Trey Hendrickson, Cincinnati Bengals. (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images) /

Hindsight is always 20/20, but the New Orleans Saints might be haunted by the one that got away last offseason: Trey Hendrickson.

Oh, to see Hendrickson’s beaming division title-winning face right now. He really dodged a bullet.

Released by the Saints to save cap space, Hendrickson signed a four-year deal with the Cincinnati Bengals last March.

The fifth-year pass rusher enjoyed his most productive season in 2020 on the Saints…up until 2021.

Now clad in orange and white, Hendrickson has registered a season-high 14 sacks through 16 games, adding 34 combined tackles and 27 quarterback hits.

Not many expected Hendrickson to keep up his numbers from last year, but Hendrickson has only thrived since leaving New Orleans.

And now the Saints are left with a bitter taste of regret in their mouths.

New Orleans Saints should have thought twice about letting Trey Hendrickson gp

NOLA’s current pass-rushing unit has been performing especially well lately, with Cameron Jordan notching 7.5 sacks in the last three games and Marcus Davenport adding a couple as well (rookie Payton Turner still needs more experience, though).

But the fact of the matter is the Saints could have used a dynamic sack artists like Hendrickson this year. Hendrickson would have turned the Saints’ top-ten defense top-five, and he along with Jordan could have formed the most formidable pass-rushing duo in the league.

Instead, New Orleans decided to take its losses and move on. 10 months later, Hendrickson has won the AFC North with his new team and is ranked fifth in the league for most sacks this season, behind other greats like Nick Bosa and T.J. Watt.

It’s easy to lament what could have been, and who knows if Hendrickson would have been as effective in the Saints’ defensive unit this year.

At least on the Bengals, Hendrickson has the offensive talents of Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase, and others to make sure he and the defense don’t have to climb out of a pit every single game.

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No hard feelings, though — New Orleans should wish him the best. Chances are, the Saints will be at home watching the pass-rusher continue to terrorize offenses in the postseason.