2018 NFL Free Agency: New Orleans Saints Could Emerge As Dark Horse To Land Kirk Cousins [Opinion]

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The 2018 NFL free agency period will officially begin March 14, however, names and teams are already being linked together. Since last season, it was well speculated that the Washington Redskins and Kirk Cousins would part ways. With the Redskins hitting Cousins with the franchise tag, they could never come to an agreement on a long-term deal. This offseason, the Redskins have officially moved on from Cousins by trading for Alex Smith. Now, Cousins may be free to sign elsewhere and while his name is mentioned with several teams, one, in particular, has flown under the radar, the New Orleans Saints.

But wait, the Saints still have Drew Brees, right?

Yes, but Brees is a free agent and there is a possibility the Saints might be forced to look elsewhere according to Sean Naylor of WBLZ. While Brees has been remarkable for the Saints since his arrival, he’s still 39-years-old. What the Saints must consider goes far beyond the 2018 season. While many experts don’t see the Saints letting Brees go, there has to come a time when they will need to move on. And truth be told, this is the year to do so. With Cousins available and younger, pairing Kirk with Sean Payton and the much-improved Saints’ defense could lead them back to the top of the NFC South standings without missing a beat.

While Brees has continued to shine, even at his age, Cousins could represent the future of the Saints.

Think back to when the Saints received Brees. Much like Cousins, Brees didn’t reach his full potential with his prior team either. The Cousins’ era in Washington was full of letdowns but imagine what pairing him with the offensive guru that is Payton could do for his career. While in D.C., Cousins threw for 16,206 yards, 99 touchdowns, and 55 interceptions while completing 65.5 percent of his passes, according to Sports Reference. During his three seasons as a full-time starter, Cousins has thrown over 4,000 yards in each season. While he has a long ways to go to reach the level of success that Brees has, one must remember that Brees was the same, if not worse before he teamed with Payton.

Featured image credit: Jeff RobersonAP Images

What makes Cousins such an appealing take for the Saints is that they have gone in the direction of youth. Brees is the veteran presence, but looking at the skilled positions on offense and the oldest is Ted Ginn at 32. The Saints have run the ball more to take pressure off Brees and ended the season with a top 5 ranked rushing attack in the NFL with Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara.

While the Saints could use some help at the wide receiver position with only Michael Thomas as their featured pass catcher, Cousins could slide right into a top offense instead of struggling with the Browns or Broncos. The 2018 NFL free agency period will be a wild ride for sure. However, for Kirk Cousins and the Saints, it could be the start of something special.