ESPN suggests a bold offseason move for the Saints to turn things around

With the New Orleans Saints hoping to reach contender status next season, ESPN recently suggested a bold move that could help them move in that direction.

Oct 9, 2022; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints linebacker Demario Davis (56) and
Oct 9, 2022; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints linebacker Demario Davis (56) and / Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
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The New Orleans Saints are coming of an extremely underwhelming season, missing the playoffs for a third straight year. Despite the disappointment of the 2023 season, the Saints still managed to have the same record as the NFC South-winning Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That shows that New Orleans isn’t all that far from its goal of returning to the postseason and contending for a championship.

In order to actually get there, the Saints need to put together a strong offseason. That process started with the hiring of Klint Kubiak as offensive coordinator, as well several other hires to the offensive coaching staff. Soon, New Orleans will address the players on the roster with free agency and the 2024 NFL Draft.

Oftentimes, one major move could make all the difference for a team. That’s why Aaron Schatz, in a recent piece for ESPN, suggested one bold move for all 32 teams. Ranging from draft decisions to free agency signings to trades and coach firings, Schatz argued the big move that could help each franchise start turning things around.

For the Saints, Schatz suggested that New Orleans trades away Marshon Lattimore, arguing the move would help the team with their cap situation.

ESPN says Saints should trade Marshon Lattimore

New Orleans entered the offseason with the worst cap situation in the league, nearly $80 million over the cap. The team has since restructured several contracts, including Derek Carr’s, creating cap space. Still, the Saints are nearly $40 million over the cap. Trading away Marhson Lattimore would get the team closer to being cap compliant.

Schatz notes that a recent restructure to Lattimore’s contract would make it easier on the Saints to trade him, pointing out that if New Orleans waits until after June 1, they would only have $13.4 million in dead cap space for the season. As far as replacing Lattimore, Schatz says the Saints could either draft a corner or move Alontae Taylor outside.

"Lattimore is still playing well -- when he plays. He had a minus-23% coverage DVOA in 2023, which ranked 17th among corners with at least 300 coverage snaps. However, Lattimore (who turns 28 in May) has dealt with injuries and played only 17 games over the past two seasons."

Aaron Schatz

Considering that Lattimore is still a really good corner, this would be a decision that has pros and cons for New Orleans. Because of his established level of play, the Saints should be able to find interested trade partners. However, with Lattimore having two seasons left on his contract, there really isn’t any incentive to trade him this offseason other than creating cap space.

Unless the Saints plan on hitting the reset button completely, they should hold on to Lattimore along with the rest of their veterans to see what the team can accomplish next season. If 2024 is another underwhelming year, then it’ll be time to move Marshon Lattimore.

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