The NOLA Saints’ linebacker depth doesn’t look great heading into 2022, but bringing back Kiko Alonso is a desperate and ill-advised move.
Letting Kwon Alexander walk in free agency may be one of the Saints’ worst decisions so far as Alexander leaves a decent-sized hole in the team’s linebacker unit.
NOLA’s projected starters at the position are Demario Davis and Pete Werner, the former of whom ranks as one of the best linebackers in the league, and latter of whom should enjoy a much more successful second season.
Alexander nonetheless served as a reliable starting-caliber linebacker, and now the Saints have moved on to bring back….Kiko Alonso?
That’s a name you haven’t heard in a while.
Bringing back Kiko Alonso won’t boost NOLA Saints’ linebacker corps in 2022
Alonso spent a short stint in New Orleans back in 2019, when he recorded 31 tackles and one pass defended in 13 games. That year, Alonso tore his ACL in a playoff game and hasn’t stepped onto the field since, and bringing him on as even just a depth piece may not work well in the Saints’ favor.
The former second-round pick nearly won Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2013, but he’s many years removed from that performance and likely doesn’t measure up to the Saints’ high standard of interior defense.
When healthy, Alonso made solid contributions in man and pass coverage and eclipsed 100 tackles in each of his three years in Miami. Alonso’s most productive days are clearly behind him, and even though Alonso is familiar with NOLA’s defensive scheme, there are younger and more talented options out there.
The Saints drafted D’Marco Jackson this spring and also could see strong performances from Kaden Elliss and Zack Baun, all of whom possess much more upside than Alonso.
It can often be nice to see a familiar face on the field, but Alonso isn’t a worthwhile signing. NOLA needs to try a bit harder to fill Kwon Alexander’s shoes in 2022.