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Will the New Orleans Saints be active at the NFL's trade deadline?

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Would the Saints be willing to move any of these players before the trade deadline?

New Orleans Saints v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

The NFL trading deadline line is approaching, specifically on Tuesday, October 30th at 4pm eastern time. The 4-1 New Orleans Saints are on their bye week, so of course it's time to engage in rumors that will almost certainly not happen. Some whispers throughout the league have Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson on the market, and others have suggested that Oakland Raiders corner Gareon Conley might be available. Barring anything unusual, New Orleans probably lack the resources to get a player like Peterson, who is still one of the league's better corners. The Saints have already traded next year's 1st round pick to obtain Marcus Davenport, and their 2019 3rd round pick in exchange for Teddy Bridgewater. The team currently has picks in the 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th rounds in next spring's draft. Recent NFL history tells us that rarely is a deal made during the season for a player who makes an impact for a contending team during the year in which he was traded. New Orleans does have some good depth in spots throughout their roster, particularly on the defensive side. Today we have a look at a few names who could attract interest from different teams if the Saints do look to either upgrade a different position or perhaps gain future draft picks.

Ted Ginn Jr., WR

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v New Orleans Saints Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Ginn, who missed last Monday's game against the Redskins with a knee injury, has 12 catches for 135 yards and two scores so far this year. His totals would have been higher, but quarterback Drew Brees missed the wideout on two long plays when Ginn had broken into the open earlier this season. He did struggle throughout the preseason though, and at times since the season has started, causing him to be singled out by coach Sean Payton on a couple of occasions for poor play. Still, Ginn has been a reliable veteran since joining New Orleans a year ago, and still has his trademark deep speed to threaten a defense.

WHY HE COULD BE MOVED:

The recent play of Cameron Meredith and rookie Tre'Quan Smith have them each poised to move past Ginn on the depth chart. Ginn has struggled with consistency throughout his career, and the coach's criticisms of his play could lead one to believe that Payton's patience could be wearing thin. Once one of the league's best kick returners, Ginn has failed miserably when tried in that role with the Saints.

WHY HE SHOULDN'T BE MOVED:

Ginn has the trust of his quarterback, something that should not be overlooked. His 787 receiving yards last year were third on the team, and his 75.7% catch percentage was the highest of his career as a regular receiver. Although Smith and Meredith have played well in recent weeks, both have yet to show that they can produce consistently within the Saints offense. The return on an erratic veteran wideout in his 12th season such as Ginn would probably not be as valuable as his worth in the New Orleans offense could be through the rest of this season.

Poll

Would you be in favor of trading Ted Ginn?

This poll is closed

  • 57%
    Yes
    (673 votes)
  • 42%
    No
    (499 votes)
1172 votes total Vote Now

Trey Hendrickson, DE

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Los Angeles Chargers Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Hendrickson was one of the team's better defensive linemen during the preseason, but has seen action in just one regular season contest so far. A third round pick a year ago (103rd overall), Hendrickson finished his rookie season with 2 sacks, 13 tackles and a forced fumble. The 6'4, 270-lb. end has good reach, shows adequate pass rushing ability, and sets the edge well against the run.

WHY HE COULD BE MOVED:

Hendrickson is a solid role player, and gave the Saints some good snaps at defensive end down the stretch of last season. He just has the misfortune of playing on a deep New Orleans defensive line with Cameron Jordan, Alex Okafor, and Marcus Davenport. New Orleans would be dealing from a position of strength by choosing to move Hendrickson to bolster one of their weaker position groups, or perhaps use him to stockpile draft picks.

WHY HE SHOULDN'T BE MOVED

The Saints defensive line was hit hard by injury a year ago. Before the playoffs even began, Okafor and Hau'oli Kikaha were on injured reserve, and even Hendrickson had missed multiple games with injury. The team was forced to sign George Johnson late in the year, and were fortunate to get solid play from him. Hendrickson is a proven player within the Saints defensive system, and could step in and play well if any of the team's top players at the edge were to miss any time.

Poll

Would you be in favor of trading Trey Hendrickson?

This poll is closed

  • 34%
    Yes
    (364 votes)
  • 65%
    No
    (694 votes)
1058 votes total Vote Now

Alex Anzalone, LB

NFL: Washington Redskins at New Orleans Saints Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Anzalone was the second of the Saints three 3rd round draft picks from 2017, with Hendrickson and Alvin Kamara being the other two, with the 76th overall pick. After missing the final twelve games of his rookie year with a shoulder injury, he has appeared in all five games this season with 3 starts. He has yet to register a sack this year, after 1 qb takedown in 2017, but does have 12 tackles and a pass breakup. Anzalone's strength is in his versatility and athleticism, and the coaching staff feels that he can capably play any of the linebacker positions.

WHY HE COULD BE MOVED:

The dreaded P-word in sports: Potential. Anzalone came into the draft in 2017 with a first round grade from some because of his physical attributes, but dropped due to lack of games played and a concerning injury history. That history reared it's ugly head last year when he was shelved due to a problematic shoulder problem. When Anzalone has been on the field this year, he has looked to be a step behind on reaction on a number of plays at times. New Orleans has a playmaking linebacker in free agent addition Demario Davis, who has been playing at a Pro Bowl level. They also have versatile veterans A.J. Klein and Craig Robertson, along with run stopper Manti Te'o. A young defender like Anzalone could bring a return of a few draft picks or bolster depth at a different position for New Orleans.

WHY HE SHOULDN'T BE MOVED:

For the same reason that other teams could want him: Potential. Anzalone is athletic enough to cover opposing backs and tight ends down the field, a New Orleans weakness at linebacker for several seasons. His play recognition and instincts should sharpen the more he is on the field. In only the second year of a cap-friendly rookie contract, Anzalone could be a key piece to a young and rebuilt defense.

Poll

Would you be in favor of trading Alex Anzalone?

This poll is closed

  • 31%
    Yes
    (334 votes)
  • 68%
    No
    (721 votes)
1055 votes total Vote Now

Manti Te'o, LB

New Orleans Saints v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

Te'o has missed the team's last three games with a knee injury. He has twelve tackles this season, after 62 stops, including 7 for loss, and a fumble recovery a year ago. Although often a liability against the pass, Te'o is one of the team's better run defenders. He reads and reacts well against opposing blocking schemes, and can track down runners from sideline to sideline.

WHY HE COULD BE MOVED:

Te'o is a heady veteran who can adjust to any defensive scheme. He doesn't have the versatility of Davis, Anzalone Robertson, or Klein though, and often comes off the field in obvious passing situations. Even though he is a good run defender, New Orleans has held their last three opponents to under 100 yards rushing without Te'o in the lineup.

WHY HE SHOULDN'T BE MOVED:

Te'o made a number of big plays for the Saints defense a year ago. He may not be the ideal every down linebacker, but he has been a proven playmaker in short yardage situations.

Poll

Would you be in favor of trading Manti Te'o?

This poll is closed

  • 41%
    Yes
    (434 votes)
  • 58%
    No
    (602 votes)
1036 votes total Vote Now

Craig Robertson, LB

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Los Angeles Chargers Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Robertson has been among the team's leading tacklers in each of his first two years in New Orleans, including a career high 114 in 2016. He can play any of the linebacker positions, and is equally solid against the run or pass. Robertson is one of the defense's most effective blitzers, but has also shown that he can cover backs or tight ends down the field.

WHY HE COULD BE MOVED:

Robertson may not be a spectacular playmaker, but could bring veteran leadership into any locker room. He would be able to stabilize a young linebacking corps, and is willing to play any role asked of him.

WHY HE SHOULDN'T BE MOVED:

Robertson is one of the team's emotional leaders. His defensive snaps may be down due to the play of Davis and Klein, but he remains a key special teams contributor. Robertson has shown the ability to step into any of the linebacker spots and play well.

Poll

Would you be in favor of trading Craig Robertson?

This poll is closed

  • 12%
    Yes
    (127 votes)
  • 87%
    No
    (912 votes)
1039 votes total Vote Now
NFL: Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

As previously mentioned, the Saints don't seem to have the resources to get a player like Peterson, barring a one-sided deal in New Orleans' favor. A player like Conley may be an interesting possibility however. The 24th overall pick of the 1st round a year ago, he missed all but two games of his rookie year with injury, and has gotten decreased playing time with each game this season. A 6'0, 195-lb. cornerback whose ability to excel in both press and off ball coverage in college vaulted him into the 1st round, Conley has appeared in all five games this season and has 1 interception and six pass breakups. He was beaten on some long plays earlier this year, causing him to fall out of favor with new Raiders coach Jon Gruden and his staff, who may be on the cusp of purging their roster. Gruden and Saints coach Sean Payton have a long relationship, and Conley was a starter in an Ohio State secondary that included Saints defensive backs Marshon Lattimore and Vonn Bell. After some early season struggles, many were calling for the Saints to make a move to upgrade a reeling secondary. The defense as a whole has played markedly better in recent weeks, and one big reason for that is better communication on the back end. Injecting a new new player into the mix approaching midseason may not pay immediate dividends, one reason why impact players are rarely traded during the season in the NFL. Coach Payton is certainly not opposed to dealing players during the season though, as we saw last year with the trades of former starters Adrian Peterson and Stephone Anthony. While it wouldn't be shocking if New Orleans did make a move to bring in secondary help, bolster a different position, or attempt to add draft picks for 2019, history shows that it seems more likely that the Saints will stand pat with the talented roster that they have in pursuit of a second Super Bowl championship.

Poll

If the Saints do make a trade before the deadline, which of these players do you think will most likely be involved?

This poll is closed

  • 62%
    Ted Ginn Jr.
    (680 votes)
  • 14%
    Trey Hendrickson
    (159 votes)
  • 9%
    Alex Anzalone
    (98 votes)
  • 10%
    Manti Te'o
    (109 votes)
  • 3%
    Craig Robertson
    (40 votes)
1086 votes total Vote Now