The Saints went into the offseason with around 30 million in cap space and definititely wanting to make some moves after finishing last in the division. With alot of needs the biggest had to be cornerback as they only had 2 cornerbacks on the roster with one being their only reliable starter in Marshon Lattimore. The other top needs would be offensive line, defensive end, and outside linebackers.
The Saints would start the offseason hot making their first trade with the Redskins. Wide receiver Tyler Boyd, center Allen Smart, and a second round pick would be sent to the Redskins for superstar wide receiver Terry McLaurin and their 3rd round pick. This wasn't a need for the team but its a great upgrade and will surely take pressure of Micheal Thomas. He will take over as the number two receiver and add alot of speed as well. McLaurin will have to be resigned this upcoming season as well. He is on the last year of his rookie contract.
As the team was making offers for various free agents the team would make a second trade, this time with the Titans. They would send their first round pick for tackle Jack Conklin, outside linebacker D'Andre Walker, and a 3rd round pick. The team gets a lot of value out of this trade getting 2 position needs and a pick in return. Walker is on the last year of his deal and will be a day one starter for the team. He is a good pass rusher that will fit in the new 3-4 defense the Saints are switching to. Jack Conklin has 2 years left on his contract and will bring much need pass protection with him as a day one starter also.
After the first round of free agency the team had great success with their offers signing 6 players. The first three being at the much needed cornerback position. They signed verteran Patrick Peterson to to a 1 year deal worth 7.95 million, Tony Brown to a 2 year deal worth 3.4 million, and Corn Elder to a 2 year deal worth 2.6 million. Patrick Peterson is getting up there in age being 32 but can still play great which is why he was brought in. Brown and Elder were both depth signings as the team had only 2 cornerbacks on roster as said before. Sticking to the defensive side they sign another veteran being defensive end Kawann Short to a 1 year deal worth 8.45 million. Just like Peterson he is getting older but is still a great run stopper in the middle that the team will be glad to have. With another older player on the defensive line the Saints decided to bring in some youth at depth signing defensive end Bilal Nichols to a 4 year deal worth 17.6 million. He will wait for his time to become a starter and develop behind the veteran leadership of Kawann Short and Cameron Jordan.
Next would come the second wave of signings with the Saints not doing as much after the big trades and first round they had. There was only two signings this time, both being for depth. The first being tight end Bug Howard on a 2 year deal for 4.2 million and the other being wide receiver Kendrick Bourne. Bug Howard will be the number two tight end and be involved in two tight end sets mostly. Kendrick has a chance to be the number three receiver but will have to show out in preseason. Most of these contracts work out great for them as they are either one year rentals or low multi year deals for a team that has a couple key players to resign this next season.
The draft wasn't to exciting for the Saints as they didn't have their first and second round picks. All of the picks were players who were not going to be day one starters and need to develop over time. With the three third round picks they took running back Gabe Baker, defensive end Irvin Griffey, and outside linebacker Keenan Jeffries. These were the more notable picks. Baker is a speedy elusive back that at most will be a backup third down/receiving back with Kamara there. Griffey will join Bilal Nichols in developing behind the veteran starters and potentially taking over for one of them. Lastly Jeffries could climb up the depth chart faster than the others but will definitely need to work on some things to improve his game. One other pick that was intersting was their 4th round pick being quarterback Levi LeBlanc. They currently have Brett Hundley as their backup but are they looking to replace him. The preseason will be the place to find out.
That will end this in depth look at the New Orleans Saints offseason. They made quite a bit of moves and all of them going in the right direction for this team. Next is the preseason where we will get to see some previews of this new team and see if everything will work out and be worth it.