An available free agent that could make things easier for the Saints in 2024 Draft

The New Orleans Saints will have to fill a lot of holes in the 2024 NFL Draft, but they can prevent that by signing a veteran player that’s still available.
Super Bowl LVIII - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs
Super Bowl LVIII - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs / Luke Hales/GettyImages

The New Orleans Saints entered the offseason with a terrible cap situation. However, that’s not unfamiliar territory for the franchise. The Saints knew exactly what they needed to do to get under the cap, so they made all the necessary contract restructures. While the cap magic may be impressive, New Orleans still didn’t have the cap space to go on a massive free agency signing spree.

Signing Chase Young was the biggest offseason move for the Saints. Aside from that deal, New Orleans made several depth signings on both sides of the ball. Still, there are quite a few noticeable needs that the team must address. New Orleans will probably look to the 2024 NFL Draft to address these needs.

Unfortunately, a team only has so many picks in a draft, and there’s no guarantee that those selections will hit. Simply put, the Saints need to set their roster as best as they can before reaching the draft. If they do that, they will have less needs to address in the draft, and will also be able to have a more open draft strategy.

With that understood, the question becomes: what free agents can New Orleans still sign? Matt Holder answered that in a recent piece for Bleacher Report, naming the best available free agent for each team in the NFL. For the Saints, veteran left tackle Donovan Smith was named.

Left tackle Donovan Smith named best available free agent for Saints

Holder pointed out how Trevor Penning was benched last season, and how veteran Andrus Peat is now a free agent. With left tackle being New Orleans’ biggest need, Holder argues that Donovan Smith is the perfect veteran option for the Saints in case Trevor Penning doesn’t improve.

Smith, who’ll turn 31 in June, has been in the league since 2015. He spent his first eight seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, before playing last season with the Kansas City Chiefs. In his nine years, he has started the 136 games that he’s played in, and won two Super Bowls. He’ll certainly be a solid addition in New Orleans.

Considering that the Saints also need to find some insurance at the right tackle position, since Ryan Ramczyk is dealing with a knee injury that could keep him sidelined, it’d make sense to bring in at least one tackle before the draft. That way, New Orleans won’t have to commit both of its top picks to tackles. They’ll be able to use one pick on a tackle, then have the freedom to explore other positions of need in the draft.