It’s no secret the New Orleans Saints need another premier wide receiver to compliment Michael Thomas. It’s one of the reasons the Saints were reportedly attempting to add a receiver at the 2019 NFL trade deadline. Which wide receiver was second on the team in yards for the Saints last year? None other than Ted Ginn Jr.
Ted Ginn's receptions per game, yards per game, and catch rate:— John Sigler (@john_siglerr) January 9, 2020
2017: 3.5, 52.5, 75.7%
2018: 3.4, 41.8, 56.7%
2019: 1.9, 26.3, 53.6%
I think he's cooked, folks
So if not Ted Ginn Jr. to be the number two wide receiver next year, then who? Sure, the Saints could address the position in the 2020 NFL Draft, but they would prefer to address the position in free agency in order to draft the best player available, regardless of position, when they’re on the clock 24th overall.
One potential free agent option is Emmanuel Sanders, who was traded from the Denver Broncos to the San Francisco 49ers last deadline. Now, Spotrac predictions the 32-year-old wide receiver to sign a two-year, $20 million dollar deal this offseason.
In ten games with the 49ers last year, Sanders averaged over 50 receiving yards per game. Ginn averaged only 26 last year. Add in the fact that Sanders is two years younger than Ginn, and you can see the potential fit.
Here are some highlights of Sanders during that ten-game stretch with San Francisco. As you can see, he has experience lining up both outside and in the slot, which would be a great compliment for someone like Michael Thomas, who similarly can move around on the line of scrimmage.
Emmanuel Sanders being traded to the #49ers was the turning point of the season and most important move of the year.— OurSF49ers (@OurSf49ers) February 2, 2020
Unlike Thomas, though, Sanders is still thought to have plus speed and the ability to take the top off opposing defenses. Here’s Sanders going deep, a la Ted Ginn, against New Orleans:
While Emmanuel Sanders has only averaged 2 rec. & 25 ypg. since the NO game, I’m predicting a breakout game from him.— Coach Yac (@YacovoneRick) January 31, 2020
Also worth noting, KC has given up 597 yards thru the air in their 2 playoff games. Kyle will carve this D up. #49ers pic.twitter.com/YvZEWBX0ao
Jimmy Garoppolo slightly under-threw Sanders on that deep ball, so the good news is Sanders would be used to it if he comes to New Orleans to work with Drew Brees.
Considering price and production, Sanders would be a welcome addition in New Orleans, and this time - as opposed to last year’s trade deadline - it won’t cost any draft picks to make it happen.