The NFL's trade deadline is set for Tuesday, Nov. 2, and the Saints should be shoppers as we build up to it. Wednesday caught us a little by surprise with the team trading with the Texans and reuniting with Mark Ingram. There's not a ton of positions the Saints need to address, but there are clearly a few areas that have been an issue. A lot is sure to happen over the next week leading up to the 3 p.m. CT deadline, so where does New Orleans stand when it comes to making a deal?
Where the Saints Need Help Most
- Wide Receiver - This is an area where things aren't working. The Saints have managed here, but there's tons of missed opportunities. If we're banking on Michael Thomas becoming the savior of things, then we might be a bit misplaced in the thought process. It's going to take time for the chemistry to come with Jameis Winston. Not having Deonte Harris certainly hurts, and the Tre'Quan Smith return didn't deliver much of anything other than a sideline interaction.
- Running Back - Alvin Kamara is built for a strong workload, but there was a concern not having a definitive backup. Making the move for Ingram definitely helps, as Tony Jones Jr. (ankle) is still out on injured reserve. Dwayne Washington (back) just missed the game against the Seahawks, and we'll have to see how his status unfolds. Devine Ozigbo was poached from the Jaguars practice squad, so he has to be on the team at least one more week.
- Tight End - It's more an area that could use an upgrade. Perhaps getting Nick Vannett back in the lineup will help things out for Adam Trautman, but he Trautman has had a very cold start to the season. Juwan Johnson has also phased out quite a bit.
Players the Saints Could Offer
- Ken Crawley, CB - It wasn't so long ago that Crawley was going into the season as the team's No. 2 corner after a stellar training camp and preseason. He's had some setbacks after recovering from the hamstring injury, but returning to the lineup for New Orleans will leave an interesting decision. He would likely be a player who is just inactive each week, unless he takes someone else's spot on special teams. Trading for Bradley Roby and the development of Paulson Adebo makes it seem unlikely Crawley will get into the lineup. Of course, we have to wait for that to happen first before the deadline, given that he landed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list recently.
- Zack Baun, LB - Baun has been relegated to special teams, and made some major strides during training camp and preseason for his development. Unfortunately, his game tape against the Panthers wasn't a strong sample size. Still, Baun is capable of being a strong linebacker in the league, and the rise of Pete Werner and return of Kwon Alexander makes it seem like Baun will stick with his current role.
- Garrett Griffin, TE - He'll likely end up as a guy back on the practice squad when Vannett returns to the lineup, especially when you get Taysom Hill back in the mix. He's a strong run-blocking presence. The trade market might not be out there for someone like him, but you just never know.
- Jeff Heath, S - He's a veteran defensive back who is playing primarily special teams. Sure, it's great insurance to have, but perhaps there's a safety-needy team that could use a player who could potentially have more of a defensive impact.
Future Draft Picks
There's always that element of trading away picks, and this is what New Orleans has to work with over the next couple of years. Naturally, we await to see what late-round compensation was dealt to get Ingram. It wouldn't be surprising to gain a player via draft capital.
- 2022 - Round 1, Round 2, Round 3, Round 4, Round 5, Round 7
New Orleans was stripped of its Round 6 pick due to violating COVID-19 guidelines, and are also expected to get at least one compensatory pick from Terry Fontenot. The other Round 3 pick is part of the conditions for getting Bradley Roby from the Texans. So, the team could very well get more compensatory picks
- 2023 - Round 1, Round 2, Round 3, Round 4, Round 5, Round 7
New Orleans has a conditional 6th Round pick due to the Texans in exchange for Bradley Roby. Those conditions are unknown.
Potential Trade Targets
- Brandin Cooks, WR, Texans - After seeing his teammate traded, Cooks is not happy, and he has good reason to be. It seems like a given that Cooks will move ahead of the trade deadline, and many teams could to use him down the stretch. Winston can fling the ball, and Cooks still has the jets to make things happen. A Willie Snead reunion looked promising, but he went to the Panthers practice squad.
- Andy Isabella, WR, Cardinals - I heard that Saints actually had some pre-draft trade interest in the receiver, but nothing panned out. Isabella's name popped up on the radar again as someone who could be on the move from a Sunday report by NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. He's just one to keep an eye on.
- Brandon Aiyuk, WR, 49ers - When you get publicly criticized by your general manager, there might be a problem. Aiyuk is certainly talented, and he's certainly getting a strong workload in the San Francisco offense, but nothing is registering on the stat sheet.
- Jamison Crowder, WR, Jets - He's going to be a free agent next year, and the slot receiver has been the subject of trade rumors already. He's certainly been focused on playing, but a change of scenery could pay off for the veteran.
- Marlon Mack, RB, Colts - His name was paired to the Saints previously, and he would come at a relatively inexpensive price tag. Mack has some desirable skill sets that New Orleans would be able to use. He's not far removed from back-to-back strong years in 2018 and 2019. New Orleans could be set after getting Ingram, but we'll see what happens with Washington and Jones Jr.
- Evan Engram, TE, Giants - Engram has been the subject of trade discussion for a bit, and maybe a fresh start is exactly what he needs. He certainly has the skill set, but just needs a change of scenery to reach his potential.
- Mike Gesicki, TE, Dolphins - This would be the home run candidate, but someone who could be a huge hit in the offense. He's had some big games this season, so his trade value might be a little higher. However, getting another weapon like this could be what Winston needs.
- Eric Ebron, TE, Steelers - He's facing a reduced role in Pittsburgh right now, but trying to stay focused on things. He's just 28 and it wasn't so long ago that he had his best season with the Colts.
Read More Saints News
- Mark Ingram Returns to Saints
- Week 8: Saints Wednesday Injury Report
- Game Balls From the Saints 13-10 Brawl Over the Seahawks
- Ken Crawley, Lil'Jordan Humphrey Land on Reserve/COVID-19 List
- Saints RB Alvin Kamara Named NFC Offensive Player of the Week
- Week 7 Saints Snap Counts and Observations
- Report: Andrus Peat Feared to Have Torn Pec
- Wil Lutz Announces He Won't Return in 2021
- Saints Beat Seahawks, Several Issues to 'Clean Up'
- What the Saints Said After Monday's Win
- Saints Survive Seahawks on Monday Night Football
- Saints Inactive Report for Week 7
- Saints Make Several Roster Moves on Monday