Don’t expect Saints to sign an expensive wide receiver in free agency

Jarvis Landry #80 of the Cleveland Browns. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
Jarvis Landry #80 of the Cleveland Browns. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /

Watching the New Orleans Saints improve their offense this offseason has been like watching water boil. Other than re-signing Jameis Winston and, more recently, Tre’Quan Smith, the Saints have hardly made any big-name splashes in the wide receiver or tight end market.

Though it seems like NOLA is satisfied (for now) with a tight end room of Adam Trautman and Juwan Johnson, the team’s wide receiver room needs quality reinforcements as of yesterday.

And for what it’s worth, the Saints tried. In the past week, they went after Marquez Valdes-Scantling, but the Kansas City Chiefs ultimately gave him the better deal.

Other desirable options like Christian Kirk and Allen Robinson were quickly snatched in the first wave of free agency, and at the moment, only a handful of worthy receiver upgrades remain, including Jarvis Landry, A.J. Green, and Emmanuel Sanders.

As desperate as NOLA is to sign at least one WR2 this offseason, the team is smart enough to know how the market works. And right now, the market is telling them: Don’t buy.

New Orleans Saints tread cautiously in free agent wide receiver market in 2022

Landry’s asking price of $20 million dollars per year sounds far-fetched for a mid-tier receiver like him, especially since Spotrac projects his market value to be at least $8 million less at $12 million dollars a year. But one needs only look at the deal Christian Kirk got with Jacksonville to realize the WR market has been completely reset in 2022.

Davante Adams to Las Vegas and Tyreek Hill to Miami embodied two of the biggest blockbuster trades at the position, and after the dust has settled, many middling receivers (like Landry) believe they can talk teams into a top-dollar deal — a deal that wouldn’t have been previously possible without the Kirk trade to being with. Such is the domino effect of free agency.

Landry is good, but he’s not Chris Godwin good or Keenan Allen good, as those players arguably deserve their $20 million contracts with their current teams.

For as long as the wide receiver market remains inflated, the Saints will likely sit back and wait for free agents to lower their asking prices. That doesn’t mean NOLA won’t make any acquisitions by the start of the 2022 season — it just means they won’t overpay for a promising talent at the position.

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For the Saints, slow and steady may not win the race, but it serves as the most logical model for the franchise to sustainably improve their roster this free agency. If you don’t like it, go be a Rams fan.