Even after early free agency moves, Saints still belong to the worst division in NFL

The NFC South is considered the worst division in the NFL, and the first week of free agency didn’t change that perception at all.

New Orleans Saints v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
New Orleans Saints v Tampa Bay Buccaneers / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages

It’s fair to say the NFC South was the worst division in the NFL last season. The division-winning Tampa Bay Buccaneers only had a 9-8 record, the same record as the New Orleans Saints. The Atlanta Falcons were third in the division with a 7-9 record, and the Carolina Panthers had the worst record in the entire league, finishing the year 2-15.

Now in the offseason, all four teams in the division are making moves to improve their status. The Falcons have made the biggest move of the division so far, signing veteran quarterback Kirk Cousins. However, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers made sure to retain their core veterans, and the Panthers have been intentional about supporting Bryce Young, acquiring offensive linemen and pass catchers. The Saints have been the least active team, signing Chase Young and other depth pieces.

With each team taking steps toward improvement, it’s fair to wonder if the profile of the division has improved. Alex Kay answered this in a recent piece for Bleacher Report, ranking all eight divisions. Unfortunately, the NFC South was still last at No. 8.

Bleacher Report ranks NFC South worst division

Kay argues that the Falcons are the only team that really improved, thanks to the addition of Kirk Cousins. As far as the other three teams, things are still looking mediocre at best and that makes for a bad division— the worst division to be specific.

Fortunately for the Saints, being in a terrible division is a good thing. It means they should have an easy path to the playoffs. New Orleans, of course, needs to improve itself, but it doesn’t have to worry about outperforming powerhouse teams. It only took nine wins to win the division last season, and that’s how many wins New Orleans had, even though tiebreaker rules kept them from being crowned the division champion. If the NFC South is looking at a similar year in 2024, the Saints should be able to pick up a couple of more wins and win the division.