Did the Saints do enough this offseason to take over the NFC South?

The New Orleans Saints made several key moves this offseason to improve their roster. Did they make enough moves to separate themselves in the NFC South.
New Orleans Saints v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
New Orleans Saints v Tampa Bay Buccaneers / Mike Ehrmann/GettyImages

Every team wants to win a Super Bowl, but before that can happen, teams have to win their divisions. That’s the best way to clinch a playoff spot and prove that you’re ready to go get a championship. Unfortunately for the New Orleans Saints, they haven’t won their division in three seasons.

New Orleans has watched the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hold the division crown for the last three years. Last season, the Saints came close to snatching the crown back, finishing with the same 9-8 record as the Bucs, however, tiebreakers were in favor of Tampa Bay. So the Buccaneers went to the playoffs and the Saints went into the offseason with a lot to address.

New Orleans has tried its best to address all of its top needs, signing guys like Chase Young and drafting players like Taliese Fuaga. The question, though, is if the Saints did enough? Did New Orleans even have the best offseason in the NFC South?

Ryan Fowler doesn’t think so. In a recent piece for Bleacher Report, Fowler named each division’s biggest offseason winner. For the NFC South, Fowler argued that just like the regular season, the Buccaneers won the offseason.

Buccaneers named offseason winners of NFC South

Fowler admitted that the Carolina Panthers and Atlanta Falcons both did well in free agency, but they followed it up with questionable drafts. As far as the Saints, Fowler praised the team’s approach in free agency and the draft, but ultimately expressed, “The Saints didn't get worse this offseason, but they didn't take the steps to move up the ladder in the division.”

Meanwhile, the Buccaneers were applauded for retaining their core veterans. Guys like Mike Evans, Baker Mayfield, Lavonte David, and Antoine Winfield Jr. were all either re-signed or extended. With the core returning, the expectation is that Tampa Bay can build on what it did last season.

However, the Bucs barely held on to the division crown in 2023, so it’s fair to say that the division is still extremely close. Sure, Tampa Bay may have been the offseason winner in the division, but the NFC South is still wide open, with very little separation on paper.