The New Orleans Saints hosted nine-year veteran cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick for a visit on Tuesday. While no deal has been announced at this time, there would be no reason to be surprised to see one if all goes well. Kirkpatrick is a completely sensible signing for a team like the Saints who are looking to fortify their outside cornerback spot. He checks several boxes presently left unfilled after the departure of Janoris “Jackrabbit” Jenkins.
The 31-year-old Kirkpatrick finished the 2020 season with three interceptions and seven passes defended after joining the Arizona Cardinals on a one-year vet minimum deal.
Should the Saints, who have not feared investing in veteran corners in the past, and Kirkpatrick land on a deal, it seems likely that the contract would again be a veteran minimum deal.
The vet minimum for players who have seven or more years of NFL experience in 2021 now sits at just $1.075M. After Marshon Lattimore’s restructure, that’s small potatoes for the team. Not to mention Drew Brees’ retirement has still yet to be financially official, meaning his $1.075M still sits on the team’s books. A clean swap, sans the vet salary benefit, looks to be possible.
Along with the price being more than achievable, Kirkpatrick is a clear scheme fit for the team who notched nearly identical numbers in terms of production, snaps, and percentages as Janoris Jenkins in man coverage during the 2020 season.
As Nick Underhill of neworleans.football notes, he also fits in with one of the Saints’ primary zone coverage looks in 2020.
He's been good playing zone in Cover 4 looks the last few years.— Nick Underhill (@nick_underhill) June 7, 2021
Cover 4 is a primary coverage for the Saints. https://t.co/wcbuxPxioi
Between the reasonable price, his experience, confidence, scheme versatility, and productivity in assignments often incorporated in the New Orleans Saints defense, Kirkpatrick looks like a potential signing that makes perfect sense if all works out.
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