Marquez Callaway may be more valuable as a trade piece

New Orleans Saints, Marquez Callaway
New Orleans Saints, Marquez Callaway / Michael Owens/GettyImages

With the New Orleans Saints desperately lacking draft capital in 2023, what could they get for wide receiver Marquez Callaway?

Compared to the Carolina Panthers, the Saints are nowhere near rebuild mode and have retained many of their key pieces from last year. There's ongoing hope that NOLA is one elite quarterback away from playoff contention, which suggests that the team remains in win-now mode and will likely keep their stars around.

One player hasn't made himself indispensable to the Saints, though: Marquez Callaway. The formerly undrafted wideout joined NOLA in 2020 and has served as Michael Thomas' replacement for the last two seasons.

With Thomas dealing with injuries yet again this year, Callaway has received plenty of opportunities to shine as a plug-in starter yet hasn't met expectations.

In three starts, Callaway has just 11 catches for 118 yards and one touchdown, recording an abysmal catch rate of 47.8 percent.

Saints' Marquez Callaway could be dealt by the end of this season

"He’s the primary backup for Michael Thomas and has stepped into a larger role with Thomas, Jarvis Landry, and Chris Olave all managing injuries – as was the case last year, when he paced the team in touchdown receptions (6) and receiving yards (698). New Orleans shouldn’t part ways with him for cheap, but if the right offer presents itself they should consider it."

John Sigler

Despite Callaway's disappointing performances, one could argue he still serves a crucial role in NOLA's injury-plagued offense.

Michael Thomas, Jarvis Landry, and Chris Olave have all missed time at some point this season due to injury (Thomas' injury saga in particular keeps dragging on) and Callaway can boast a much cleaner bill of health compared to those three.

It may not be wise for NOLA to try and trade Callaway right now, yet the Saints should keep the idea marinating in the back of their minds.

Callaway hasn't made a strong case for himself to stay on the team when the starters are injured, so it's difficult to imagine he'll still have a roster spot when those guys are healthy.

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We'll see if Callaway can change minds in Week 8's matchup against the Raiders,