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Free Agents the Saints Could Sign Before Training Camp

With concerns on both the offensive and defensive line, the Saints could be shopping for some training camp answers.

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints, like many NFL teams, are always looking to improve. With several decent players still left on the free agent market, they could make some moves to plug already existing holes and holes created by injuries. Here’s a few of the options that are out there.

Ryan Clady, Offensive Tackle

Clady is an NFL vet with plenty of experience. Since being drafted by the Denver Broncos in 2008 Clady has started 106 games and has been an above average left tackle. He was traded to the New York Jets following the Denver Broncos’ Super Bowl winning season, but things didn’t pan out for him in New York, so he still remains available on the market and could be someone the Saints should go after.

We all know Terron Armstead will be out for some, if not all of the regular season, and bringing in another left tackle to compete with rookie Ryan Ramczyk could be a favorable move for the Saints. Clady would bring a veteran presence that would be an upgrade to Bryce Harris and Khalif Barnes, and be another body to help create competition for the starting positions.

Sen’Derrick Marks, Defensive Tackle

News broke this week that Nick Fairley will sit out the entire season to take care of a heart problem. This does mean the Saints could be looking for a new defensive tackle to help fill the void left by Fairley, and Marks could be a great option. He fits the 4-3 system Dennis Allen is implementing, and has shown the ability to rush the passer in the past (8.5 sacks in 2014).

Injuries are the biggest red flag with Marks. He missed most of the 2015 season with knee injuries, and didn’t return to his usual form in 2016. That led to him being cut after the Jaguars decided to invest big money in the former Cardinal Calais Campbell.

Marks could help the Saints with Fairley out, and don’t be surprised if the Saints go for him before or during training camp.

Gary Barnidge, Tight End

Last season, the Saints’ tight ends struggled to stay healthy. Josh Hill only played in 9 games, and Michael Hoomanawanui was on injured reserve all season with a broken ankle. For the offense to fire on all cylinders, they need 3 tight ends, and they didn’t have that for most of last season. Therefore, acquiring a player of Barnidge’s quality could be a good move for the Saints.

He has all the traits you look for in a TE. Good hands, decent speed, the ability to get open, and great blocking. The Saints could use that to complement their big 2016 signing in Coby Fleener, and also to create depth if there tight ends were to get injured again.

Honorable Mentions

  • Jared Odrick, DT: Odrick played some really good football before 2016. Could he do that again in Dennis Allen’s system?
  • Ladarius Green, TE: Injuries have held him back but he could potentially be another big weapon for Drew Brees.
  • Nick Mangold, C: His camp has been quiet with the ankle injury recovery taking longer than expected, but if Max Unger is set to be out longer than expected and Josh LeRibeus isn’t the answer, look for a quick call to Mangold.

The New Orleans Saints will most likely sign more players before the season starts. Who do you think it will be?