The New Orleans Saints had a very solid first wave of free agency. We addressed our biggest holes by signing Emmanuel Sanders and Malcolm Jenkins as well as bringing back key pieces such as Andrus Peat, and Janoris Jenkins among others. That was backed up by a small but solid draft class. The shock of the draft was the selection of Cesar Ruiz at 24th overall. Many fans did not understand the pick, but it allowed the Saints to clear up cap room at the expense of Larry Warford. We currently have about $9.3 million in cap space after the departure of Warford saved $7.7 million. Let’s take a look at three free agents who should be on the Saints’ radar.
No moves have been made to add anything to the Corner position. Sure, we brought back Janoris Jenkins and P.J. Williams, but adding Ryan would give the Saints something we have rarely, if ever, had and that is four starting caliber Corners. Marshon Lattimore is a star, Janoris Jenkins is the solid number 2, and, as of now, CJ Gardner Johnson will play in the slot. In this situation, Ryan will come and fill the slot position which will allow CGJ to do what he does best, which is move around the field. He can line up at Corner, Safety, and even rush the QB from the Linebacker position. Last season, Ryan had four interceptions and forced four fumbles. He was also healthy and started every game for the Titans’ run to the AFC Championship. Ryan would be a big time addition the Saints’ secondary.
Free agency started on March 18th and one of the top players is still available. Jadeveon Clowney would be a game changer for this Saints defense. Clowney learned the hard way that no team is going to offer him the near $20 million he was asking for at the start of free agency.
This past season Clowney had a pick six, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, one of which was for a touchdown, and three sacks. He lined up mostly at Defensive End in his lone year with Seattle, but he has experience playing Linebacker for his entire career prior. It would take some maneuvering from Mickey Loomis to clear up a little more cap space, but if we could sign Clowney to one-year $13 or $14 million dollar deal, you can sign me up. Opposing QBs will be having nightmares of Cam Jordan, Sheldon Rankins, and Marcus Davenport rushing from the line with Demario Davis, Jadeveon Clowney, and Zach Buan coming in the second wave from Linebacker.
How Everson Griffen is still on the market, I have no idea. The former Vikings Defensive End had been one of the better D-Lineman in the NFL in recent years. He can wreak havoc from the outside or the inside. We already have one of the best defensive lines in the NFL. That is when we are healthy. This past season, Sheldon Rankins and Marcus Davenport suffered season ending injuries and it hurt us at the end of the year. Not to mention Cam Jordan was playing with a torn off the bone adductor muscle. Having someone as dangerous and versatile as Daniel Hunter added to this defense would take it to another level. Last season, Hunter put up 8 sacks and is just a few seasons removed from a year where he put up 13 sacks. Sign me up for one-year $8 million deal.
You can sign me up to add any of these guys to the roster just like you can sign me up for a NOLA Edition B.A.D. shirt from the Mayo Merch shop. Hold it.