Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints looked like a lock to be one of the teams in the NFC Championship just over a week ago. Unfortunately, the “Minneapolis Miracle” occurred, and they were shockingly eliminated from the playoffs. It was a game that will not be forgotten by football fans anytime soon.
Now, the Saints are left picking up the pieces and preparing for the offseason. While it was one of the most disappointing losses in the history of the Saints franchise, they are still heading in the right direction.
No one gave the Saints a chance to go as far as they did this season. They were not considered a contender in the NFC South, much less as a team to beat in the entire league. New Orleans saw a lot of young players stepping up, especially rookies Alvin Kamara, Marshon Lattimore, and Marcus Williams.
Sean Payton and company have a roster set to compete for years to come. If the Saints can make a few moves this offseason in free agency and have another good draft, they could be right back in position to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl in 2018.
All of that being said, which free agents should the Saints pursue this coming offseason?
Drew Brees, Quarterback
As has become the case with Brees and the Saints, getting him locked up to a new contract should be nothing more than a formality. ESPN has already reported that Brees has vowed to return to the Saints and won’t test the free agency market. Including him on this list is nothing more than a formality.
Navorro Bowman, Linebacker
New Orleans had interest in Navorro Bowman during the season, but he ended up going to the Oakland Raiders. It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Saints renew their interest in the veteran linebacker in free agency this offseason. Bowman racked up 128 tackles last season for the Raiders and would be a huge upgrade in the middle of the Saints’ defense if they can bring him in this offseason.
Morgan Burnett, Safety
Green Bay Packers’ impending free agent safety Morgan Burnett would make a lot of sense for the Saints as well. It appears that Kenny Vaccaro is on his way out of New Orleans, and Burnett would be an upgrade over him anyway. Burnett has been a key part of the Packers’ defense for the past few years and will be a coveted free agent this offseason as well.
DeMarcus Lawrence, Defensive End
Finding a way to afford DeMarcus Lawrence could be too big of an issue to overcome, but the Saints should do everything they can to bring him in. Can you imagine Cam Jordan and Lawrence pursuing opposing quarterbacks every week? It would be an absolute nightmare for opposing teams, and the Saints would be wise to attempt signing him this offseason.
Terrelle Pryor, Wide Receiver
While the Saints still had one of the league’s most dangerous offenses, taking a chance on Terrelle Pryor might make sense. His value has been destroyed after a terrible season with the Washington Redskins. At 6-foot-4 and 228 pounds, picking him up and giving him a year with Brees could be a low-cost, high-reward signing for the Saints.