3 Saints contracts we were happy to see end, 2 we’re eager to see expire

New Orleans Saints
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Saints contract we were happy to see end: Marcus Davenport, EDGE

There was a time when the Saints thought Marcus Davenport was the missing piece on defense for them. A product of UTSA, Davenport was an intriguing prospect with an impressive blend of size (6-foot-5 and 264 pounds) and speed (4.58 in the 40-yard dash).

New Orleans was so sure he was the right guy that they made a huge leap in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft, surrendering a fifth-rounder that season (No. 147 overall) as well as their first-round pick in 2019 to move from No. 27 to No. 14.

There were those who thought the Saints were making this move to bring in Lamar Jackson as a potential heir to Drew Brees but it was Davenport they paid the huge price for. And when the selection was made, there were believers.

"This is an exciting, young edge rusher. He's very raw but his upside is off the charts, when you're talking about an edge rusher, he's raw but gifted, I love his motor and body type. Reminds me a lot of Ziggy Ansah.""

Mike Mayock via NFL.com

Unfortunately, Davenport never lived up to the expectations. Injuries slowed him down and as he missed 19 games in five seasons and never hit double-digit sacks in a season. He seemed to come on strong in 2021 with 39 tackles and a career-high nine sacks but after posting 29 tackles and 0.5 sacks in 2022, New Orleans decided not to bring him back.

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He eventually signed with the Minnesota Vikings, after making $9.5 million in his final campaign — which was arguably his least effective.