5 New Orleans Saints Free Agent Targets

Saints Free Agent Targets

The New Orleans Saints have a lot of work to do if they want to get back into the playoffs in 2023. While the NFL Draft is the best way to obtain sustained success, the Saints need to find the right free agent targets to improve their 2023 outlook. The Saints are currently in salary cap hell, so they won’t be able to break the bank for any of the top players on the market. However, there are some low-cost players that could improve the team’s short-term outlook.

Top 5 New Orleans Saints Free Agent Targets, Ranked

1. Justin Houston, EDGE

Assuming the Saints lose Marcus Davenport in free agency, the team will need to add another pass rusher. The best fit for the job is Justin Houston, a former star that is coming off of a 9.5-sack season with the Baltimore Ravens. Even at his advanced age, the four-time Pro Bowler can still get after the quarterback, and he should come cheap. Teams are afraid to invest heavily in older players, and the 34-year-old Houston is much closer to the end of his career than the beginning. Last year, the Ravens signed him to a one-year, $3.5 million contract. If the Saints can sign him for a similar cost, they should absolutely pull the trigger and bring in yet another talented pass rusher.

2. Parris Campbell, WR

For the first time in his career, Parris Campbell stayed healthy in 2022 and showed the world what he can do over a full season. While he didn’t set the world on fire, he finished with a respectable 63 receptions for 623 yards and three touchdowns while catching passes from arguably the worst trio of quarterbacks in football. With Michael Thomas likely on the way out, the Saints need another reliable weapon in the passing game to pair with Chris Olave. The free agent wide receiver market exploded last year, but there is a chance Campbell’s lengthy injury history keeps him from earning a big paycheck. If that happens, the Saints should roll the dice and hand out an incentive-laden contract that won’t dramatically affect their 2023 cap space.

3. Jacoby Brissett, QB

The Saints are going to find a quarterback somewhere, and the most cost-effective option available might be Jacoby Brissett. The journeyman quarterback performed surprisingly well last year, finishing the season ranked 10th in EPA/play and sixth in PFF grade, even though the only reliable receiver he had was Amari Cooper. Expecting Brissett to match that level of efficiency in a second consecutive year is probably asking too much, but he’s proven that he can be a reliable bridge quarterback in the right environment. Seeing as he probably won’t command too much on the open market, New Orleans should definitely try to upgrade the most important position in football.

4. Dalton Risner, OG

Perhaps more than any other unit, the Saints offensive line has gotten considerably worse since the Drew Brees days. Once viewed as one of the strongest lines in the league, the 2022 iteration could barely block anybody. Just about every position could use an upgrade, but Dalton Risner stands out as a good fit that probably won’t break the bank. Risner is a better pass blocker than a run blocker, and that’s the exact type of player the Saints need. Even if they sign Brissett (or a similar free agent), the team should still invest in a developmental prospect in the NFL Draft. In case they get lucky and that prospect is ready to contribute in Year 1, the Saints will need to provide an offensive line that can support a young player.

Saints offensive line was one of the worst in football last year, need help just about everywhere. Dalton Risner can help at guard

5. Zach Allen, EDGE

Wrapping up this list of free agent targets for the Saints is Zach Allen. There is no such thing as too many pass rushers, and Allen has the tools to be a good fit as a rotational rusher. The former third-round pick doesn’t excel at any one part of the game, but is a well-rounded player that can get the job done against the run and the pass. While he’s definitely not a 1:1 replacement for Marcus Davenport, he’s an ideal third or fourth pass rusher that should pair well with Carl Granderson and Cameron Jordan.

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