Breaking News: New Orleans Saints Name Four Free Agency Who Could Sign With The Saints

Saints free agency: Analysts assign rankings to New Orleans
After two weeks of free agency, what grade do NFL analysts give the New Orleans Saints? We reviewed their individual grades before creating a team report card. The Saints have had a busy few weeks after losing seasoned free agents like Jameis Winston, Malcolm Roach, and Zack Baun and adding players like Chase Young and Willie Gay.

Furthermore, the Saints’ efforts haven’t exactly left a lasting impression on those covering the league. They haven’t accomplished enough to gain greater confidence heading into 2024 for a struggling squad that just managed to win nine games the previous season:

With the exception of a few small additions (LB Willie Gay, WR Cedrick Wilson Jr., and QB2 Nathan Peterman) and the signing of DE Chase Young to a one-year, $13 million contract this week, they have essentially been idle as they restructure contracts across the roster, as they do every year. Eventually, this was going to require a more controlled approach.

Focus on Pro Football Brad Spielberger had a more optimistic assessment of the Saints’ wins and defeats, praising them for acquiring young players at vital positions while finding good value in the free agency market:

This is a nice bargain for Gay, since many mid-tier and/or specific position linebackers have performed well throughout the first 1.5 hours of free agency. A reliable third linebacker is acquired by New Orleans to go with Demario Davis and Pete Werner.

The Saints’ salary cap maneuvering did not impress Garrett Podell of CBS Sports, who saw the squad as a group trapped in a rut without making significant changes:

The Saints’ insatiable need to keep renegotiating nearly every contract in order to contend for the NFC South is drastically restricting their options in free agency beyond simply re-signing some of their own players. If this approach isn’t changed soon, New Orleans will always be stuck fighting for division crowns and missing the postseason in the first round. Following Michael Thomas’ departure by the Saints, Wilson offers some depth at wide receiver.

Dallas Robinson of Pro Football Network criticized the Saints’ cap management as well as their lack of significant moves:

Similar to the Bills, the Saints were forced to effectively sit out the free agent market due to their mishandling of the salary cap. Although there isn’t much to criticize, Gay was a productive linebacker for the Chiefs.

Vinnie Iyer of Sporting News feels that the Saints are lagging in the NFC South arms race:

Before taking a chance on Young, the Saints were unlikely to make any significant additions given their cap circumstances, with Willie Gay Jr. being their lone noteworthy addition. Considering how competitive the Panthers, Buccaneers, and Falcons were in the division, this doesn’t seem good at all.Barry Werner of List Wire was largely unimpressed, although he believes Willie Gay can infuse the locker room with some much-needed energy:

James Winston departs in favor of Cleveland. Nathan Peterman makes an appearance. Perhaps he’s friends with Derek Carr. They were in the Raiders’ company. Willie Gay joins with KC’s championship-winning record.

Although Rob Maddi of the Associated Press criticized the Saints for losing so many players to other teams, he praised them for their frugal spending:

Linebacker Willie Gay Jr. was signed. Tyrann Mathieu, extended safety. Lost Malcolm Roach, the defensive lineman, and Zack Baun, the linebacker.

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