3 former players the New Orleans Saints have desperately missed in 2022

Philadelphia Eagles v Indianapolis Colts
Philadelphia Eagles v Indianapolis Colts / Andy Lyons/GettyImages

The New Orleans Saints have not been good this year. Losing these players really hurt them and whatever chances they had of contending in 2022.

Let's take a look at three former Saints players (who are still in the league) that the team really wishes they had on their team right now. I will not be including players who are no longer playing in the league. All right, let's get to it!

All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference and all grades courtesy of PFF

C.J. Gardner-Johnson

The Saints traded Ceedy for a bag of peanuts in the offseason rather than extending him and it's hopefully sent the final message to Mickey Loomis not to do business with the Philadelphia Eagles ever again.

Gardner-Johnson has been money for the Eagles this year, hauling in a career-high six interceptions. For the record, New Orleans' defense has two interceptions total. It's been a bad look for the Saints to have traded Gardner-Johnson away and they could have desperately used his ball-hawking abilities.

Marcus Williams

This one isn't necessarily about what he's done for his new team but rather what he could have done for the Saints' secondary. Fans knew it was going to be hard to keep Williams in the Big Easy and they weren't able to do so. Instead, the former second-round pick headed to Baltimore for the next chapter of his pro career.

Williams has only appeared in five games for the Ravens this year and hasn't played since Week 5. Even still, he also has more picks on the year than the Saints entire defense does, as Williams hauled in three interceptions through five games.

Williams was such a beast in this secondary and while the storyline of Tyrann Mathieu coming back to Louisiana was cool, Williams was a superior player.

Terron Armstead

Arguably the biggest loss for the Saints in free agency was Armstead, who had manned the left tackle position for them since they spent a third-round pick on him in 2013. The biggest reason NOLA probably didn't try harder to keep Armstead was that he had been injury-prone throughout the course of his decorated career. They couldn't afford to pay players who wouldn't stay healthy.

Armstead has missed one game this season and recently suffered an injury to his pectoral muscle, which could lead to him missing time.

Even with Armstead's injury history, there's no debating that the Saints could have desperately used him this year. James Hurst filled in for him at left tackle and while he's not terrible, he's not Armstead, who has a squeaky clean 77.0 PFF grade compared to Hurst's 64.9 PFF grade. Hurst has been particularly bad in the run game while Armstead is still in beast mode in that department.

New Orleans spent one of their two first-round picks on Trevor Penning hoping that he'd eventually replace Armstead. So far, the team really misses Armstead and the nastiness he brought to the left side of the offensive line.

Would the Saints be a better team if these three players were still in town? Honestly, probably.

Gardner-Johnson and Williams were important pieces defensively and, most importantly, forced takeaways. This is something that the current crop of Saints defensive players haven't been able to do.

Armstead is injury-prone, yes, but the offensive line has not been the lockdown unit we got so used to watching while Drew Brees was in town. He'd have been a really important player on offense.

dark. Next. Free Agent Signings That Did Not Work Out

Which Saints players do you think the team desperately misses?