With free agency and the NFL Draft in the rear-view mirror, just about every team in the league can stop worrying about adding new players and instead focus on preparing their rosters for the upcoming season. While there could be some post-June 1st transactions, Bleacher Report‘s Kristopher Knox has started handing out offseason grades to every single NFL team, and he gave a Saints a B+.
New Orleans Saints Receive B+ Offseason Grade
Obviously, the most important offseason move for the Saints was signing quarterback Derek Carr to a four-year, $150 million contract. This is the first thing Knox mentioned in his Saints offseason grade review, and he seems to be in favor of the move.
“The 32-year-old might not be New Orleans’ quarterback for the next decade, but he’s more of a long-term answer than recent additions Jameis Winston and Andy Dalton. If Carr can provide consistency at the quarterback position, the Saints will have a chance to compete in the NFC South this season.”
— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) May 23, 2023
While Carr is the biggest signing, he was far from the only major addition made by the team. New Orleans lost a lot of talent on the defensive side of the ball, but they added plenty of bodies to try and fill those voids. By selecting Bryan Bresee and Isaiah Foskey in the NFL Draft along with Khalen Saunders in free agency, Knox believes that the Saints defensive front will “remain a team strength” and that New Orleans “might be considered the division favorites.”
Does the Saints Offseason Grade Make Sense?
The New Orleans Saints entered the 2023 offseason without a first-round pick and with the least amount of cap space in football. However, through their usual magic, the team found a way to add multiple key free agent, add valuable draft capital, and clear enough cap space to remain competitive in 2024 and beyond.
The Saints B+ offseason grade makes sense, but some of the finer details of Knox’ analysis could be argued. For instance, the Bleacher Report writer believes that Bresee and Foskey can more or less start from Day 1, and you never want to rely too heavily on any rookie right out of the gate. There could be some growing pains, so the Saints defensive line will probably take a step back in 2023.
However, that setback should be easily offset by the addition of Derek Carr. Andy Dalton is a fine bridge quarterback, but Carr is one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL. Nobody is saying that he’s Patrick Mahomes, but he doesn’t need to be to help this team win the division.
The NFC South is a dumpster fire, and the Saints are the only team that stand a realistic chance of competing within the division. While they lack the top-end talent of teams like the Philadelphia Eagles, New Orleans has one of the easiest schedules in football and should be able to take advantage of those favorable matchups. If everything goes right, the team could win as many as 13 games.
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