As the New Orleans Saints continue to trim their roster ahead of Tuesday’s deadline, one particular unit looks especially threadbare.
This offseason, the Saints parted ways with left tackle Terron Armstead with a solid contingency plan in place: move backup veteran James Hurst into the starting role and draft Trevor Penning.
With only a few weeks until the start of the 2022 season, Hurst is battling to recover from injury while Penning has been ruled out indefinitely due to his foot injury. NOLA is back to square one, and the team needs a quick — but reliable — fix as soon as possible.
Currently, the backup behind Hurst is Landon Young, who was supposed to be Ryan Ramczyk’s insurance, but the Saints have a few other options they can entertain.
Although it’s less than ideal, the team could play Ramczyk on the more important blind side and put Young back on the right, as Ramczyk does have experience at the left tackle position. Given how dominant he’s been at right tackle, though, this should be the last resort.
NOLA Saints are running out of options at left tackle in 2022
We previously wrote about the possibility of trading for a disgruntled tackle like Isaiah Wynn, and that seems to be the safest choice at the moment.
Even though it would take time for an outsider like Wynn to adapt to the system, the Saints would still have a starting-caliber tackle who provides more value and experience than any rookie or undrafted free agent.
There are still some veteran free agent offensive linemen on the market like Eric Fisher, but there’s likely a good reason they haven’t been picked up yet. Pursuing a more coveted target with decent upside like Wynn would be the most surefire way to solve the problem, with the only drawback being the Saints would have to give up a draft pick.
Hurst should remain the projected Week 1 starter as long as he recovers in time, yet it’s obvious that the depth behind him is painfully thin.
This is one issue that needs to be addressed as urgently as possible as the Saints don’t want to start their 2022 season on a sour note.