Every year in OTAs, NFL teams are able to dream about what could-be by looking at how there team is coming together after an offseason full of moves. Each team has budding stories, the next “big thing,” and players who look to be “ahead of schedule” after major injury. Bleacher Report has named the biggest development for each NFL team in OTAs, and for the Saints, it’s the progress of Cameron Meredith.
The New Orleans Saints have one of the NFL’s better No. 1 receivers in Michael Thomas. But the team could use a dependable No. 2 who can both take a little pressure off Thomas and take advantage of how much attention the Pro Bowler draws.
New Orleans may have found one in arguably the best under-the-radar signing in free agency.
After catching 66 passes for 888 yards and four touchdowns for the Chicago Bears in 2016, Meredith lost all of last year to a knee injury—an injury that played a large part in the low RFA tender that set the stage for the Saints to swoop in and snatch the 25-year-old up in free agency.
Now, the only snatching being done is by Meredith, who has been showing out in OTAs. He told Amos Morale III of the New Orleans Times-Picayune that he’s grateful to be both back on the practice field and reunited with wide receivers coach Curtis Johnson, who coached Meredith in Chicago during that breakout 2016 season.
”He brought a lot out of game being a coach for me,” Meredith said. “So, to have the opportunity to go and play with him again and soak up some more knowledge from him is great. You see what he’s done with the other guys in our room already.”
If Meredith can come close to those numbers, it’s the Saints who will be grateful.
It’s easy to get excited about Meredith right now, even with the understanding of Meredith’s previous injury.
Saints coach Sean Payton said WR Cameron Meredith is “way ahead of schedule” in rehab from last year’s knee injury. Payton said the team has a “clear vision” on how to use Meredith this season.— Herbie Teope (@HerbieTeope) May 24, 2018
After Ben Watson has returned to the Saints this offseason, it’s hard to be certain who will be the #3 option in the passing game for New Orleans (after Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara), but if Meredith is able to build up chemistry with Drew Brees, he could be primed to put up massive numbers for the Saints in 2018.