Sixth year outside linebacker Kwon Alexander was traded from the San Francisco 49ers to the New Orleans Saints Week 9 of the 2020 season, and coincidentally made his first start for the Saints in Week 10 against his former team. Nearly two years ago, in March of 2019, Alexander signed a four-year $54 million contract with the 49ers, despite coming off an ACL tear in 2018. Alexander unfortunately got injured again in the middle of the 2019 season, but was able to return in time to help San Francisco make a run all the way to the Super Bowl.
Alexander was traded to the Saints in exchange for a 5th -round pick in the 2021 draft, and fellow linebacker Kiko Alonso. In his first game as a Saint, he registered 4 total tackles and 0.5 tackles for loss. With the addition of the former LSU Tiger, the Saints began their best stretch of defensive football of the 2020 season, giving up fewer than 20 points in his first four games with the team.
Alexander recorded 27 combined tackles in his seven games with the Saints, to go along with 4 passes defensed and a career high 2 fumble recoveries. His best game of the year came in the Saints loss to the Eagles. Alexander played 100% of the defensive snaps on his way to recording 6 total tackles and forcing a fumble that gave the Saints an outside shot to pull off a miracle win.
Alexander provided stability at outside linebacker to go along with Demario Davis, and played very well in his limited amount of time with the Saints in 2020. Unfortunately, his season was cut short by an Achilles tear in Week 16. This was the third year in a row that Alexander had been placed on injured reserve, but his 12 total games played in 2020 was the most he had appeared in since 2017.
The Saints would be smart to hold on to Alexander, as when healthy, he is the best linebacker on the team not named Demario Davis. However, it is fair to call Alexander injury prone at this point in time, as he has only played 26 out of 48 games over the last three seasons. Despite this, I would like to see Alexander stick around for the long term. He is a local product who is just 26 years old and is a very solid outside linebacker when he is healthy. If the Saints can keep him for the right price, their defense would only get better.
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