1. Cesar Ruiz
The only non-free agent to make this list is Cesar Ruiz, who has two years remaining on his rookie deal. NOLA spent a first-round pick on Ruiz in the 2020 NFL Draft and it hasn’t gone well, to say the least.
PFF’s grade of 57.6 might not look all that bad on paper but the five sacks surrendered and constantly getting whiffed by defenders spoke for itself. Ruiz looked straight up lost sometimes when he was on the field and when he was the only initial starter available to play, it led to a disaster upfront for this unit.
There’s no way the Saints are going to part ways with Ruiz considering he’s just two years into his career but fans wouldn’t be upset if they did. If we’re talking about players whose production proved they shouldn’t be on the team in 2022, Cesar Ruiz is the obvious answer.
At least Zack Baun, who also comes from that atrocious 2020 Saints draft class, is a strong contributor on special teams, which is why he didn’t make this list. Ruiz struggled all around and if he doesn’t improve in year three, the team might not be so inclined to keep him on the roster.
It says a lot about the NOLA offense that all four of these players were on that side of the ball. The defense didn’t really have a weak link while the offense had more weak links than playmakers. That’s never the recipe for success in the NFL.
Which Saints players would you say don’t deserve another season with the team?