Saints player No. 1: Tre’Quan Smith
In the last four years, has any Saints player disappointed as much as wide receiver Tre’Quan Smith?
Maybe Taysom Hill. But Smith comes at a close second having squandered all his chances so far in NOLA. The Saints re-signed Smith to a two-year deal earlier this offseason, but the contract is relatively cheap and New Orleans could still release him without losing that much money.
In Thomas’ absence last season, Smith had a golden opportunity to lead the team as a WR1 but he was plagued by minor injuries and finished fourth in receiving yards, ranked below Alvin Kamara, Marquez Callaway, and Deonte Harty. Smith recorded a meager 32 catches for 377 yards, averaging 11.8 yards per catch, and that was when he faced very little competition in the wide receiver corps.
This offseason, Smith hurts the most from the Jarvis Landry signing, as Landry will almost certainly take starting offensive snaps in the slot alongside Michael Thomas and Chris Olave.
Even Callaway and Harty made their mark and deserve at least a backup role in 2022 — in four years at NOLA, Smith hasn’t yet proven he can be a reliable and productive receiver, and at this point, he may never live up to expectations.
We’d even put money on undrafted players like Dai’Jean Dixon and Rashid Shaheed to overtake Smith in preseason. This season spells boom or bust for Tre’Quan Smith, and given his history, we’re guessing it’ll be the latter.