We’re now six weeks into the NFL season, approaching Week 7 on the league schedule. As much ridicule as the New Orleans Saints have faced for their offseason whiffs and blunders, this has been quite a different year in free agency and the draft. Arguably, Mickey Loomis and Sean Payton might have made some of the best choices for this team in their history.
But, here’s the big question:
Now that the season has begun to play out, what would the Saints do today if they could go back and change one move they made in the offseason? Would it instead be a move or addition they didn't make?
With the help from some of the writers of Canal Street Chronicles, we weigh in our thoughts.
JM Di Giulio: I would have them sign Zach Brown at linebacker, especially over Manti Te’o. An opportunity to field a cost-friendly LB with disproportionate production. If they send that 32nd overall pick for Malcolm Butler, they may not select Marshon Lattimore at 11th and then the Saints wouldn't have Ryan Ramczyk starting every game as a rookie.
John Sigler: Sign Jonathan Hankins instead of re-signing Nick Fairley. Of course, it's not fair because of Fairley's situation, but it's the simplest/most effective move I can think of given the facts.
Ellias Williams: I can't think of any, as I thought they had a winning offseason based on logic of moves versus personal preference for players.
Rev ‘Deuce’ Windham: Alex Okafor and A.J. Klein were two of my "go after them". I've liked them. Klein has performed how I thought, and Okafor has over-performed my expectations. I didn't expect him to be such a stud run stopper.
It was reported that the Saints were heavily interested in linebacker Dont’a Hightower and offensive guard Kevin Zeitler in free agency, but Deuce points out that if New Orleans landed Zeitler, then they likely couldn’t have afforded Adrian Peterson. There’s also the whole Trumaine Johnson trade rumors from the Rams that didn’t pan out.
Going back to the draft, the Saints were one pick shy of landing Reuben Foster, but the 49ers took him right before they nabbed Ramczyk. Trading a future second-round pick to nab Alvin Kamara was something that was criticized at first by some, but now looks to be a huge win.
Many feel that trading Brandin Cooks was still the right move, and that in hindsight maybe offloading Jairus Byrd and Dannell Ellerbe would have been ideal, but then again, who would have been in the market for injury-riddled and over 30 club players?
Given how everything has played out for the Saints, it might be safe to say that nothing would be changed if a do-over was in play. The best moves the team made in the offseason might have been the ones they didn’t make.
Which offseason move would you have done or undone?