New Orleans Saints Free Agency Grade
The major portion of free agency has passed, and although several talented players remain available, many teams have made signings that they hope will change the face of their franchise. The New Orleans Saints have been active, but have focused on their own free agents while adding a few other key pieces.
Here’s a recap of what the Saints have done so far in free agency.
QB - Teddy Bridgewater (Panthers)
WR - Keith Kirkwood (Panthers)
LB - A.J. Klein (Bills)
CB - Eli Apple (Raiders)
S- Vonn Bell (Bengals)
FB - Michael Burton
WR - Emmanuel Sanders
S - Malcolm Jenkins
CB - Deatrick Nichols
QB - Drew Brees
G - Andrus Peat
LS - Zach Wood
DT - David Onyemata
DE - Noah Spence
CB - Janoris Jenkins (extended current contract)
CB - Justin Hardee
S - D.J. Swearinger
Brees returns for his fifteenth season in New Orleans on a team-friendly deal after continuing to play at a high level a year ago. Sanders fills what was a huge need at wide receiver, giving the team another legitimate threat there to pair with Michael Thomas. Malcolm Jenkins is reunited with the franchise that drafted him in 2009 and will provide valuable leadership in the secondary while still playing at a high level to replace Bell.
Onyemata is a still improving tackle that is part of one of the deepest defensive line rotations in the league. Peat’s re-signing keeps the continuity of one of the NFL’s best offensive lines. Swearinger will provide valuable experience and depth at safety, and the extension of Janoris Jenkins gives the Saints one of the best starting cornerback tandems with Marshon Lattimore for at least two more seasons.
The Saints have focused on keeping their own free agents, insuring that the bulk of the core that has won three straight NFC South titles remains intact. They still have some issues to address, most notably depth at receiver, cornerback, and linebacker. Their free agent activity not only gives them flexibility in the upcoming draft, but they still have one of the league’s most talented rosters on each side of the ball and will enter 2020 as a championship contender once again.
Free Agency Grade = B+
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