The New Orleans Saints reportedly tried and failed to trade Pro Bowl guard Larry Warford, who remains a free agent after his eventual release by the team earlier this year. While Warford’s performance in 2019 was divisive amongst Saints fans, it was likely his $13 million dollar cap hit that prevented a trade. Rumors are that Warford is now looking for a 2020 salary somewhere in the neighborhood of $7 million, so teams were likely not willing to pay $6 million more than they needed.
After Warford, what other trade chips might the Saints still have? Bleacher Report posed this exact questions and named Nick Easton as the one player the Saints should trade:
Last offseason, the New Orleans Saints signed center Nick Easton to a four-year, $23 million contract. They then drafted Erik McCoy in the second round, only to see the rookie take the starting job away from Easton.
While having Easton on the roster provides valuable depth, his cap hit of nearly $6 million is high for a backup center. The Saints should see what they can get for him in order to free up cap space; they currently have just over $8 million.
Easton could make sense as a potential trade chip. As Bleacher Report notes, Easton was originally signed to be a potential replacement for the retiring Max Unger, but now has only seen the field sporadically since joining the Saints. A potential opening looked possible with Andrus Peat hitting free agency, but the Saints opted to bring Peat back on a long-term deal and only let Larry Warford go after drafting Cesar Ruiz. The offensive line still has too many bodies for spots.
Easton does provide valuable insurance off the bench, but the Saints still have versatile players like Will Clapp and Cameron Tom that could provide the same depth in 2020.
Other potential names that could make sense as trade chips for the Saints include cornerbacks Patrick Robinson and PJ Williams, defensive end Trey Hendrickson, or even quarterback Jameis Winston.
The latter could be an intriguing option during the season, despite the fact that Cam Newton and Colin Kaepernick are both available in free agency. If a team’s starting quarterback gets hurt, someone might come calling for a quarterback who’s already shown to be healthy in Jameis Winston.
Sam Bradford was traded for a first round pick when Minnesota Vikings quaterback Teddy Bridgewater was injured, so stranger things have happened.
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