3 Former Saints we'll be glad are gone, 2 we'll wish stayed
By Randy Gurzi
Saints player we wish stayed: Kaden Elliss, LB
It's not often that a seventh-round pick turns into a stud but that was the case with Kaden Elliss. Taken at No. 244 overall, the Saints watched Elliss develop into a force this past season.
With just 23 tackles and one sack under his belt entering the 2022 campaign, Elliss went off with 101 tackles and seven sacks — which was second on the team, only behind Cameron Jordan (8.5).
It was the perfect time for him to peak since he was entering the offseason as a free agent. And like the aforementioned David Onyemata, Elliss also signed with the Atlanta Falcons, earning a three-year deal worth up to $21.5 million.
Elliss, who has a brother in the NFL and a father who was a former Pro Bowler, seems to be just scratching the surface when it comes to his ability. Now, the Saints have to watch as someone else is able to benefit from the work they did in coaching him up — and like the majority of their free agents, he stayed in the NFC South as well, so they will have to be reminded of him twice per season.
New Orleans will be banking on Zack Baun as the replacement for Elliss. A former third-round pick, Baun has plenty of talent but he will have to really step up his game in order to make fans forget about Elliss.