With the future of the franchise looking uncertain following quarterback Drew Brees’ retirement, the New Orleans Saints could use some help on both sides of the ball. Areas of need include cornerback, wide receiver, defensive tackle, and tight end. Here are two players they should look to acquire this offseason.
Michael Gallup (WR) - Dallas Cowboys
With star Michael Thomas injured for most of last season, Emmanuel Sanders lead all wideouts in catches (61), yards (726) and touchdowns (5). New Orleans released him in March for salary cap purposes, leaving their receiving corps depleted. Outside of Thomas, the Saints’ wide receivers mainly consist of unproven younger players in Tre’Quan Smith, Deonte Harris, Marquez Callaway, Lil’Jordan Humphrey, and Juwan Johnson.
Cowboys wideout Michael Gallup is going into a contract year with a base salary of $2.4 million. Dallas invested a first round pick on Oklahoma Sooners receiver CeeDee Lamb in the 2020 NFL Draft and have Amari Cooper under contract until 2025.
Gallup racked up 1,107 yards receiving in just his second NFL season in 2019. Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott missed all but five games last season, but Gallup still saw 105 targets and had 843 yards receiving as the third option behind Cooper and Lamb.
At just 25 years old, Gallup could be a low-risk, high-reward option for New Orleans to consider. Regardless of who will be under center, the offense would gain an immediate deep threat if they opt to remain aggressive in the passing game.
Stephon Gilmore (CB) - New England Patriots
The Saints are no strangers to making deals with Bill Belichick. New Orleans has made four trades with the New England Patriots since 2015 alone, most notably sending Brandin Cooks and a fourth-rounder for first- and third-round picks in 2017.
Those picks became star offensive tackle Ryan Ramczyk and defensive end Trey Hendrickson, who recorded a team-high 13.5 sacks in 2020 before signing a four-year, $60 million contract with the Cincinnati Bengals this offseason.
Patriots corner Stephon Gilmore also enters a contract year with a base salary of $7 million. At 30 years old, it is highly unlikely that teams will offer him big money in free agency. New England might look to flip Gilmore for younger players or draft capital if they decide that he is not part of their future plans.
Gilmore was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2019 after finishing with 53 tackles, 20 passes defended and a league-leading six interceptions - including two pick-sixes. Acquiring a young standout corner, such as Jaire Alexander or Denzel Ward, would cost a boatload of assets, so Gilmore is the clear-cut best veteran option.