2. Saints’ Michael Thomas could disappoint in 2022
The Saints’ wide receiver corps is already head and shoulders better than what it was last season, but much of the team’s offensive success hinges on Michael Thomas’ successful return.
In the event that Thomas hits a snag in his recovery, or God forbid he re-injures himself, New Orleans would quickly be back at square one with the same trio of Marquez Callaway, Deonte Harty, and Tre’Quan Smith carrying the unit. Chris Olave can also do some damage in his first year, but that’s an immense amount of pressure to put on a rookie.
We hope NOLA learned its lesson last year when the cheap Chris Hogan and Kenny Stills signings didn’t exactly pan out. If the team is truly looking to invest in its wide receiver room, signing Jarvis Landry would send a crystal clear message to the rest of the league: the Saints are in win now mode and are building a deep roster to seriously compete in the postseason.
Getting Jameis Winston back should also benefit the Saints’ receivers quite a bit after they all suffered under the arm of Taysom Hill, but even then, none of the Saints’ current wideouts, outside of Thomas, have that much upside.
Callaway, Harty, and Smith haven’t yet proved they can generate consistent production in the Saints’ offense, whereas Landry has often served as the Browns’ most dependable wideout throughout his four years in Cleveland.
Three years removed from a 1,000-yard receiving season, Landry visibly struggled in 2021 during a year filled with OBJ drama and Baker Mayfield’s middling mediocrity.
In a more stable franchise like New Orleans, though, Landry has the potential to bounce back in a big way and record numbers closer to his 2019 or 2020 levels of production. Landry has recorded 750 or more receiving yards in seven out of eight seasons, so we think it’s fair to call his forgettable 2021 season an anomaly.
And even regardless of whether Thomas performs well or not, the Saints could always use more reliable receivers in 2022 — Landry fits the bill.