New Orleans Saints Free Agent Losses

The NFL franchise tag period has officially ended. The New Orleans Saints used their franchise tag on safety Marcus Williams. That move might come as a surprise to some considering the Saints salary cap woes. But the Saints are huge fans of Williams and wanted to make sure they were able to keep him. Williams was the most likely Saints player to get the tag going into this period. NFL free agency opens next week and with it comes some uncertainty for the Saints and some former Saints players. Here is a breakdown of some potential New Orleans Saints free agent losses.

New Orleans Saints Free Agent Losses Team Could Potentially Have To Fill

Defense

On the defensive side of the ball the Saints might take a huge hit to their roster. While Marcus Williams, one of the best defensive players on the Saints, will not hit free agency due to being tagged, there are other potential departures the Saints may have to deal with. One potential big loss is Trey Hendrickson. Williams, Hendrickson and Sheldon Rankins looked to be the only three players who could potentially receive the franchise tag. Obviously Hendrickson and Rankins did not get tagged, but now both players will be available to sign with any other team once free agency officially begins. In addition, P.J. Williams, D.J. Swearinger, Ken Crawley and Alex Anzalone will officially become free agents next week as well. While it wasn’t expected that any of those players would be tagged, and some of them may re-sign with New Orleans, the Saints may very well find themselves with several holes to fill on the defensive side of the ball this off-season. Free agency is scheduled to start next week and the Saints will most likely be looking to replace several contributors from last season.

Offense

But it isn’t just the defense that could see some turnover this off-season. The offense has some players set to hit free agency as well, including quarterback Jameis Winston. The former Tampa Bay Buccaneers signal caller is the most intriguing of these free agents. With future Hall of Famer Drew Brees possibly retiring this off-season, the Saints might try to re-sign Winston with the hopes he would be their starter in 2021 and beyond. With a rich quarterback market/carousel this off-season, including Dak Prescott and Deshaun Watson, Winston has gone under the radar of available quarterbacks. Prescott has now signed a new deal with the Dallas Cowboys. The NFL world is still waiting to see what happens with Watson. Winston not receiving a lot of publicity so far bodes well for the Saints. If Brees does indeed retire, Winston probably has the best shot at being the starter for the Saints in 2021.

Last Word on New Orleans Saints Free Agent Losses

The New Orleans Saints could still bring back any of these aforementioned players. Though Trey Hendrickson will likely garner too much money for the Saints to realistically re-sign him, given their salary cap issues. The Saints have many needs going into free agency and losing some of these contributors would hurt the team. But given their salary cap issues, particularly with the cap decreasing this season, the Saints may have to figure out a way to fill the vacated holes with less expensive options.

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