4 contract decisions that will pay off for the New Orleans Saints

• Saints replaced their parting DTs with smart signing

• Addition by subtraction is a real thing

• Juwan Johnson's best days are ahead of him

• Jamaal Williams brings a new dimension

New Orleans Saints
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2. Letting Marcus Davenport walk

In the NFL, it's hard to win when you can't get after the opposing quarterback. That's why the Saints were willing to overpay for Marcus Davenport when he was coming into the league in 2018. New Orleans traded the 27th overall selection as well as a fifth-rounder that year and a first-round selection in 2019 to move up to No. 14 for Davenport.

The University of Texas-San Antonio product was seen as an exciting edge rusher — but was still very raw. With potential through the roof, the Saints believed they could develop him alongside Cam Jordan and have two studs on either end.

Davenport did stand out at times and had 10.5 sacks in his first two seasons but struggled with durability. He then had just 1.5 sacks in 2020 as the injuries continued to hold him back.

2021 was his best campaign, despite missing another six games. In 11 contests, he had 39 tackles and nine sacks, making the Saints look wise for picking up the fifth year of his rookie contract. But then in the offseason, he had five surgeries — including one on his pinkie which resulted in a partial amputation.

He ended up playing in 15 games which is the most he's ever appeared in during a single season. Despite this, his numbers were less than impressive. Davenport finished with 29 tackles and 0.5 sacks.

In the offseason, they elected not to bring him back as the Minnesota Vikings brought him in on a one-year, $13 million deal.

With him out, the Saints will turn to rookie Isaiah Foskey who could wind up being an upgrade. That means there's a chance they saved $13 million and still improved.