The New Orleans Saints weren’t rumored to be in the running for DeVante Parker this free agency, but they should have at least given him a call.
So far, the Saints’ offseason has been almost as painful to watch as their 2021 offense. NOLA could have made a splash by going after Miami Dolphins’ DeVante Parker, but he was recently traded to the New England Patriots.
Miami gave up Parker and a 2022 fifth-round draft pick in exchange for a 2023 third-round pick, a very reasonable deal that the Saints could have gotten in on if they had been serious about signing a wide receiver.
After the Dolphins signed Tyreek Hill and Cedrick Wilson Jr., and given the breakout season of Jaylen Waddle, Parker became an expendable receiver who Miami may have been looking to trade for draft capital. Why didn’t New Orleans show interest sooner?
New Orleans Saints could have vastly improved WR room with DeVante Parker
By not locking down yet another talented wideout, the Saints prove they’re the same old Saints as last year.
In their defense, the Marquez Valdes-Scantling deal was out of their hands, as the Chiefs gave him an offer he couldn’t refuse. Besides, given a choice to play with Patrick Mahomes or Jameis Winston, any receiver would choose Mahomes.
Yet the Saints could have rebounded in a huge way by at least putting an offer on the table for a productive playmaker like Parker. Last season, Parker ranked fourth on the team in receptions, but in 2022 he could easily slide into the WR2 role in the Saints offense and challenge Michael Thomas for looks.
In 2021, Parker played in 10 games and totaled 40 receptions for 515 yards and two touchdowns, which would put him third on New Orleans behind Marquez Callaway and Deonte Harty.
In seven years in Miami, Parker has been a mostly consistent wideout nonetheless affected by shakeups in the Dolphins’ offensive line and a still unproven quarterback. Under the arm of Winston, who has a bit to prove himself, Parker could thrive and show glimpses of his 2019 elite form, when he recorded 1,202 yards and nine touchdowns on 72 catches.
What’s done is done, and the Saints are unfortunately left with very few quality wide receiver free agent options in 2022.
They had a once-in-an-offseason chance to get Parker, but they just didn’t take it. Pray they make wise moves in the upcoming draft.