5 former New Orleans Saints who could return for 2022 season

Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /
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New Orleans Saints
Alex Anzalone (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

2. Alex Anzalone

NOLA took Alex Anzalone in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft and he was a consistent contributor on both defense and special teams during his four years in the Big Easy. Unfortunately, Anzalone signed with the Lions last offseason and was a big part of their defense.

He appeared in 100% of the defensive snaps in all but six of the Lions’ game in 2021 and his connection to Dan Campbell definitely led to him landing in the Motor City. Despite Anzalone’s contributions in the first half of the season, he did not take the field in the final three games.

Anzalone’s production definitely dipped off during his first season away from the Saints and he’ll be a cheap free-agent candidate. I’m not sure that Anzalone would be someone to bring in as a legitimate starting option but he’s familiar with the defense and could return to his previous form.

If nothing else, New Orleans could slot Anzalone in as a special teams contributor. Again, he’s familiar with the organization and is a cheap option in free agency. Re-signing him wouldn’t have fans bouncing off the walls with excitement but it’d be a decent move.