Best free agents still available for the Saints

As the first wave of free agency is ending, here's who could still make an impact in New Orleans.
Super Bowl LVIII - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs
Super Bowl LVIII - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

After a wild, non-stop week of free agent signings, things are starting to quiet down across the NFL. While the new league year didn't technically begin until Wednesday afternoon, teams were already making deals with players on Monday morning, and reports on big time contracts for big name players came flying in from the get-go.

While a few of the major signings will probably age well, as always, a ton of those huge deals will come back to haunt the teams that gave them out. The next wave of free agency, though, it a little different. Now, teams have the opportunity to get impact players on cheaper deals, and it's this wave that separates the good GMs from the great ones.

The Saints haven't had the most impactful free agency yet – that tends to happen when you're in the cap hell that New Orleans consistently finds itself in. But they do still have some money to work with, and these are the guys who could help them compete in a very winnable NFC South in 2024.

Best free agents still available for the Saints

1. Chase Young, EDGE, San Francisco 49ers

It's hard to believe that Young is still a free agent. Two years of injuries derailed what looked like the beginning of an All-Pro career, but Young was still productive while with the 49ers and is somehow still only 24. He may be a little bit out of the Saints' price range – Pro Football Focus projects he'll sign something in the ballpark of a one-year, $15 million contract – but they could certainly use the pass rushing help.

They even had a meeting with Young on the books, though as of Friday afternoon, that had been rescheduled. The two sides make sense for one another, even if it's on a one-year, prove it-type deal.

2. Calais Campbell, DL, Atlanta Falcons

Campbell's an intriguing option if the Saints don't want to dish out the money it'll probably take to land Young. And even at 37, he's still playing well: he led the Falcons in sacks last year, and his 6.5 were the most he's had since 2019 when he was playing with the Jaguars. Pro Football Focus projects a one-year, $7 million deal for Campbell, which is well within New Orleans' wheelhouse.

And plus, how fun would it be to steal away a player from the Falcons?

3. Trent Brown, OL, New England Patriots

After a strong rookie season, left tackle Trevor Penning took a step back in 2023. He's still young, obviously, but he hasn't played well enough to be the defacto left tackle in New Orleans next season.

Even if the Saints are set on keeping Penning there, Brown could be of use to them at other spots on the line. He's played both tackle positions, and both Penning and Ryan Ramcyzk have missed chunks of the season over their time in New Orleans. It's not like the market for tackles is exploding this offseason, either – there are plenty of reasons to be skeptical of signing Brown, but at the price it'll probably be, that's something the Saints can roll the dice on.

4. Kyle Van Noy, LB, Baltimore Ravens

The Saints addressed their linebacker issues by signing former Chiefs' linebacker Willie Gay, but Gay's never played a full season. Van Noy, who had a career-high nine sacks in 2023 with the Ravens, can still play, and provides depth, dependability, and veteran leadership.

He'd come especially cheap, as PFF predicts a contract under $4 million for the vet. He may want a better shot at Super Bowl contention than the Saints can offer him, but he'd undoubtedly help their defense.