Saints free agency has been interesting to this point but things heated up when long-time safety Malcolm Jenkins announced his retirement on Wednesday morning. This move means that the New Orleans Saints must target Tyrann Mathieu, which has been something fans have wanted to see happen all offseason long.
When Marcus Williams chose to sign with the Ravens, it felt as though Mathieu could be a real possibility, as he has ties to New Orleans and was still on the market. The Honey Badger is still waiting for a home for the 2022 season and while the Saints have added help at safety, they’re now left without their two starting safeties from the 2021 season.
New Orleans added Marcus Maye initially in a move that I was fond of. Maye was injured last year but before the injury, he was on a Marcus Williams-level of play. If NOLA can get that version of Maye again, they’ll have a cheaper and just as productive version of Williams in their secondary.
In a less popular move, the Saints signed Daniel Sorensen, so while they signed a Chiefs safety, it was the wrong one. Sorensen is notorious for being terrible and most fans tried to assure each other at the time of this signing that Sorensen being brought in was for depth purposes.
Now, however, that’s not the case. Jenkins’ retirement could end up pushing Sorensen into a starting role and that cannot happen. Mathieu needs to be in the team’s plans.
Saints need to go get Tyrann Mathieu
It’s a shame to see Jenkins hang up the cleats, as he spent 13 years in the NFL splitting time with the Saints and the Eagles. He won a Super Bowl with both organizations and is easily one of the best draft picks in Saints history. It’ll be hard to replace him even if he wasn’t “as productive” in his later seasons.
The Saints now have to find a suitable replacement for Jenkins. Mathieu is the easiest option and perhaps he’s held out on signing elsewhere because he was aware of this plan. Wishful thinking, perhaps, but hey, we can dream.
If NOLA doesn’t land Mathieu, then they have to find another option that isn’t Sorensen starting in Week 1. Maybe they put C.J. Gardner-Johnson into Williams’ old spot. Maybe they re-sign P.J. Williams and make him a bigger factor.
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One thing is for sure though, Tyrann Mathieu needs to be priority No. 1 for the New Orleans Saints.