NFL free agents are still signing. Victor Cruz signed with the Chicago Bears yesterday, but there are plenty of other free agents still available. Around this time last offseason the Saints brought back long-time New Orleans Saints Safety Roman Harper. What remaining free agent would you like to see the Saints sign this offseason?
With Center Max Unger dealing with an injury, maybe you’d like to see former Jets Center Nick Mangold brought in as depth? The Saints have already brought in 5,000 different players at Linebacker, but what’s one more? Maybe ILB Gerald Hodges of the 49ers? ILB Perry Riley? OLB Elvis Dumervil as an edge rusher? Maybe you want the Saints to add help in the secondary. Should they bring back Jairus Byrd? Roll the dice on Darrelle Revis?
I know my answer. I’d love to see the Saints check in on former Browns TE Gary Barnidge.
Barnidge was released by the Browns after a failed physical, and at 31 years old, he wouldn’t be an expensive or long-term investment for the Saints to add to the offense.
Barnidge will likely never come close to replicating his 2015 season with the Browns, when he finished the year with 1,043 receiving yards and 9 TDs, on the way to his lone Pro Bowl appearance. At the same time, Barnidge has had Robert Griffin III, Johnny Manziel, Josh McCown, Cody Kessler, Brian Hoyer and other at QB - clearly none on the same tier as Drew Brees. Also, with a younger Coby Fleener on the roster, Barnidge wouldn’t be asked to be the primary pass-catching Tight End in the Saints offense. Unlike pass-catching Tight Ends of Saints’ past, Barnidge is no slouch as a blocker, and would be able to help the Saints in multiple areas.
If the Saints were able to bring in Barnidge on a cheap, incentive-laden deal, the Saints could run two-Tight End sets as effectively as when the Patriots ran out both Gronk and Aaron Hernandez.
But that’s my preferred target remaining for the Saints in free agency. What about you? Who would you like the Saints to look at in free agency? Tell us in the comments. Explain your answer. Send me presents.