The New Orleans Saints are facing uncertainty like they have not faced in almost two decades. Sean Payton recently announced his retirement from the NFL. This comes a season after Drew Brees also retired. As if that was not enough, the Saints also have to deal with the yearly grind like all NFL teams. The Saints will have to use free agency to fill needed positions. The draft this year is likely to look at high-level talent like quarterback or offensive tackle. With a huge void at wide receiver, the Saints will likely be shoppers in free agency. These are some of the remaining players in the NFL playoffs that the Saints can watch who will hit free agency after this season.
Wide Receivers to Watch in the Playoffs - Championship Edition
All four teams left in the NFL playoffs will have to make some player decisions at wide receiver at the end of this season. Letting any of these players leave in free agency would add to the player pool for the Saints. Wide receiver is likely the second-most important position that Saints will have to address this off-season. Having more experienced players to select from should let the team make smart decisions with personnel. Michael Thomas should be back to full strength next season. With Alvin Kamara still on the team as well, any player brought in through free agency only needs to fill secondary and tertiary roles to complement the offense.
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The Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers have reliable receivers likely hitting the market after this season. These teams have the least amount of receivers set to hit the market out of the four remaining teams. Odell Beckham Jr. has revitalized his career with the Rams, but his contract is up at the end of this year. Beckham has been known to wear on locker rooms, so it will be interesting to see what he does after this year. For the 49ers, it looks as if the only primary receiver set to leave the team is veteran Mohamed Sanu. Sanu is a 12-year veteran who has likely seen his best years; however, his experience and reliability should not be overlooked. Both players could likely choose to stay with their current team but if they hit the market, the Saints should at least inquire about them.
AFC Receivers to Watch
The Kansas City Chiefs and Cincinnati Bengals are set to lose several receivers after this season. Both teams are in similar situations with their pass-catchers. Each has top-end talent, so they do not necessarily need consistent production from their complementary players. For the Bengals, Mike Thomas, Auden Tate, and Stanley Morgan are set to hit the market. The most interesting person from this group has to be Auden Tate. Tate is a large, possession receiver who could fill a need for the Saints immediately. Standing 6’5, Tate would be able to use his length to make contested catches when needed. Tate and Mike Thomas have been lost in the shuffle in Cincinnati. This should not reflect on any of these players as the Bengals have one of the best receiver units in the entire NFL. Both are likely to get respectable contracts in free agency this off-season.
Likewise, the Chiefs will have to make a decision about several receivers. The most attractive of these receivers are Byron Pringle and Demarcus Robinson. Both players have flashed at times with the Chiefs offense. Given more of an opportunity, each of these players could be an every-down type of player. Pringle has played his entire three-year career with the Chiefs and has gotten better each of those years. Pringle started the most games of his career while getting the most targets of his career this past season. This probably hurt Robinson’s statistics a bit. After peaking at 45 receptions last season, Robinson has only caught 25 passes this year. Either player will likely draw interest from multiple teams, and either will fill a need for the Saints.
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