3 former Saints players who failed with their new team in 2023

New Orleans will be glad they let these players walk.
Minnesota Vikings v Philadelphia Eagles
Minnesota Vikings v Philadelphia Eagles / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages
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Maybe no team in the NFL has a more unique relationship to free agency than the Saints.

Perpetually in cap hell, New Orleans' front office consistently finds a way to wiggle out of financial jams year in and year out, much to the confusion – not to mention dismay – of other NFC South fans. Restructing contracts has been a big part of New Orleans strategy, and they'll have their work cut out for them this offseason with guys like Ryan Ramczyk, Alvin Kamara, Taysom Hill, and Marshon Lattimore.

One thing the Saints have been good at, in recent history at least, is letting the right guys walk. Expensive extensions can cripple an NFL team, and while no one's immune to the occasional blunder, the Saints – especially last year – made some smart decisions when it came to to re-sign players. Of the six guys that left New Orleans for contracts worth at least $10 million, two have already been cut and one may be on the way.

These are the three former Saints who failed to live up to their new contracts in 2023.

Marcus Davenport, Minnesota Vikings

Davenport was plenty productive in New Orleans: in 63 games (35 starts), the 2018 first round pick had 21.5 sacks, with a career-high nine in 2021. Unfortunately, health has always been the issue with Davenport, who's never played a full season. In fact, he's only ever appeared in more than 13 games once, when he played in 15 during 2022 – which was, somewhat ironically, his least productive year. He's dealt with serious injuries to his thumb, toe, elbow, and shoulder, while also dealing with a concussion in 2020.

Despite some production when he was available, it wasn't enough to convince the team to bring him back, and they let him test the free agent waters.

Unfortunately, it was more of the same when he signed a one-year, $13 million deal with the Vikings before the start of last season. In his only season in Minnesota, he played for four weeks – with two sacks – before a high ankle sprain ended his season before it even really got started. The team has renegotiated his contract void date, but it's hard to see him returning to Minnesota next season. If that's it for Davenport, it's a sad end to a career that started with so much promise.

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