Now that the NFL Draft is behind us, the Saints would now need to make a few trades in order to solidify the roster going into the 2021 season. There are some veterans out there with expiring deals, or who are simply not needed on their current teams now that the Draft has concluded. The Saints filled many holes in the Draft, but they were with 2nd and 3rd round picks, meaning they could need a solid veteran option to start in 2021 before the younger players are ready to make a difference. So here are a few players who the Saints could get fairly reasonably before the start of the season (and no, Aaron Rodgers isn’t one of them).
Zach Ertz will likely never suit up in an Eagles uniform again. He was a no-show at the Eagles voluntary workouts this week, and has been on the trade block since the season ended. His cap hit at $12.7 million, and the emergence of Dallas Goedert as a legit weapon at Tight End has led to a rift between Ertz and the Eagles front office, that will likely end with Ertz being cut or traded for less than he is worth.
Zach Ertz, understandably, wasn’t one of the #Eagles veterans to report today for the start of the voluntary Phase 2, a source said. He isn’t expected to report for the remainder of the offseason program or until his situation is resolved (read: he’s traded or released). https://t.co/ZxeVP5JzTD— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) May 17, 2021
Ertz was banged up for most of the 2020 season, but when healthy, the 30-year old is one of the better Tight Ends in the league. The Saints need help at TE, as Jared Cook was let go in the offseason, leaving second-year player Adam Trautman as the top option at TE for Jameis Winston. Ertz would be an upgrade over Trautman, and what Jared Cook was last year, and would be a huge help to Winston in his first year as Quarterback in New Orleans.
Ertz’s cap hit is a red flag, especially with the Saints cap issues this offseason, but if they can make it work financially, Ertz should be a top target on the trade market. At worst he would be a one year rental as the Saints try and get the most out of the roster to make another run at the Super Bowl to begin the post-Brees era. At best he will re-sign with the Saints in the offseason to a more affordable deal now that he is starting to exit his prime.
TRADE: Zach Ertz to the Saints, 2022 4th round pick to the Eagles
Hicks is fresh off his best two seasons in his career, playing in all 16 games and recording 110+ tackles in both 2019 and 2020. Hicks is a middle linebacker very much in the mold of Demario Davis, and would form one of the best middle linebacking tandems in the NFL if paired with Davis. With the Cardinals drafting Zaven Collins with their first overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the 28-year old Hicks, who is entering the third year of the 4-year $20 million contract he signed in 2019, does not seem to be in the Cardinals plans past this year. They could be looking to get some immediate return for Hicks as the rookie Collins is integrated into the defense.
The Saints should pursue Hicks on the trade market, as he would provide a solid and reliable option at linebacker while young players like Zach Baun and Pete Werner get ready to take over long term. Hicks and Demario Davis would have the potential to make the Saints the top rush defense once again, as both players are elite run defenders. He still has two years left on a pretty affordable contract, and could be brought back for another year or two if the roster stays together.
TRADE: Jordan Hicks to the Saints, 2022 5th and 6th round picks to the Cardinals
The Saints need help at Cornerback, as Chauncey Gardner-Johnson and Patrick Robinson are slated to be the starters opposite Marshon Lattimore in 2021. Gardner-Johnson has been a very valuable player given where he was drafted, but his talents are better suited as a safety than an outside CB. Paulson Adebo was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2021 NFL Draft, but if the Saints are looking for a solid veteran option on the outside, they should look to trade for Kyle Fuller.
A Pro Bowler in 2018 and 2019, Fuller has been one of the more underrated CBs in the league over the last few seasons. He was signed to a 1-year deal by the Broncos this offseason, so it would be odd to sign a player and then immediately trade him. However, with the younger Ronald Darby also brought in this offseason, and the Broncos drafting Patrick Surtain II, it seems they can now afford to part with the 29-year old Fuller.
Fuller would provide a solid option on the outside as the Saints look to iron out their issues at CB. If Adebo needs a year to get ready, or Gardner-Johnson needs a year to transition to the outside, Fuller would be a good option to help bridge this gap going forward.
TRADE: Kyle Fuller to the Saints, 2022 and 2023 5th round picks to the Broncos
Who do you want to see the Saints make a trade for before the season starts? Leave a comment below, and make sure you follow Canal Street Chronicles on Twitter at @SaintsCSC, “Like” us on Facebook at Canal Street Chronicles, follow us on Twitter @SaintsCSC, on Instagram at @SaintsCSC, and make sure you’re subscribed to our new YouTube channel. As always, you can follow me on Twitter at @HaydenReel.