New Orleans Saints free agency periode er startet og på førstedagen mistede specielt forsvaret nogle profiler.
Atlanta Falcons hentede defensive tackle David Onyemata og linebacker Kaden Elliss. Onyemata bliver genforenet med Ryan Nielsen, som trænede ham i hans tid i New Orleans. Elliss fik en stor – måske for stor – kontrakt på ca. 21 millioner.
Carolina Panthers hentede Shy Tuttle. Men ingen NFC South var interesserede i tidligere første rundevalget Marcus Davenport. Han fik en 1-årig kontrakt med Minnesota Vikings. Nu har Payton Turner muligheden for, at slå igennem ligesom Saints også må håbe på et stort spring fra Carl Granderson.
På angrebet skrev Saints en ny kontrakt med quarterback Jamies Winston, som dermed skal være Derek Carrs backup i 2023. Winston står til at tjene $4 millioner, men en mulighed for at komme op på $8 millioner. Dermed har Saints en af ligaens bedste backup quarterback, samtidig med at de sparer på holdets salary cap.
Noget positivt fra alle disse signings er, at Saints sandsynligvis modtager nogle compensatory picks i næste års draft. Følg udviklingen i Saints free agency på vores FA side, hvor du får det opdaterede overbliksbillede.
Vi har mistet mange gode topspillere, men heldigvis kan vi få lidt tilbage i 2024
So this is interesting — the Carolina Panthers are closing in on a two-year contract with former New Orleans Saints backup quarterback Andy Dalton, who would be tabbed to mentor whichever prospect Carolina picks first overall in the 2023 NFL draft.
Okay, that in itself isn’t very interesting. The money involved is (Dalton is going to be earning about twice of what he got from the Saints last season) but the departure isn’t that noteworthy. What’s unique about this situation is the parting gift that Dalton is leaving behind.
Because the Panthers are going to sign Dalton after his contract with the Saints expired, he’ll be qualify as a compensatory free agent for the 2024 NFL draft. Normally, that means the Saints would stand to get comp pick for losing Dalton. Probably a sixth rounder next season. But the Saints have already qualified for the maximum four comp picks allowed for 2024, so they won’t get anything for Dalton after all.
But wait, there’s more. While the Saints aren’t going to receive a comp pick for Dalton, his departure does still work in their favor for this process. His loss will work as a buffer between the Saints and any compensatory free agents that they do sign in the days and weeks ahead. That means New Orleans could sign a qualifying free agent like, say, New York Jets defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins, and he wouldn’t count towards their total. Dalton and Rankins would cancel each other out as far as the comp picks formula is concerned.
Which means the Saints would still be getting the projected comp picks for losing defensive linemen Marcus Davenport, David Onyemata, and Shy Tuttle as well as linebacker Kaden Elliss in 2024 (a mix of fourth- and sixth-round picks). They could jeopardize one or more of those picks by signing additional qualifying free agents, but if the Saints are careful and play this right they could address their team needs and still come out ahead with multiple comp picks in 2024. That’s going to be huge for a roster looking for an injection of young talent on salary cap-friendly rookie contracts.
Endelig lidt godt nyt om vores forsvar og især vores D-line:
We’ve got movement: the New Orleans Saints are expected to sign Kansas City Cheifs free agent defensive tackle Khalen Saunders, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport; Pelissero adds that it’s a three-year deal valued at up to $14.5 million, which is a great value for a key player from the reigning Super Bowl champions’ defense.
Saunders is only 26 years old, but he’s coming off a career-high 511 defensive snaps for the Chiefs last season. He’s listed at 6-foot and 324 pounds but moves really well for a big man, having tallied a career-high 3 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks last season (totaling 18 pressures as a pass rusher). He’s good for occupying blockers so his teammates at the second level can run through gaps in the line and make plays.
He’s the second defensive tackle to cut a deal with New Orleans before Wednesday’s start to the free agency signing period; the Saints also picked up former New York Jets playmaker Nathan Shepherd. Saunders will likely factor into the compensatory picks formula for the 2024 draft, but because the Saints have lost more players than the maximum picks they can receive, he shouldn’t negate any picks.