With the legal tampering period officially “kicking off” today, the New Orleans Saints like the rest of the NFL are preparing for free agency and the start of the 2022 league year. As of this morning, the Saints currently sit at right around $6.3 million dollars over the salary cap. The Saints will still have moves to make to get under the cap by Wednesday and here are five players who won’t demand top dollar on the open market and could make an immediate impact in 2022. For the sake of this list, I’ve decided not to list any wide receivers, if you’d like to read my piece on some under the radar receivers here it is.
Jeff Wilson Jr. RB San Francisco
The former UNT standout has carved out a nice role for himself with the 49ers since coming into the league in 2018. Wilson was hampered by injuries this year and the emergence of rookie star Elijah Mitchell kept Wilson in a limited role. During his career, Wilson has averaged over 4 yards a carry and 8 yards a catch. With the uncertainty at the running back position, the Saints could use a versatile back like Wilson and won’t cost too much.
JEFF WILSON JR. TOUCHDOWN FOR THE LEAD!— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) November 18, 2019
@WakeEmupJeff903 | #GoNiners pic.twitter.com/uHzw6BepL6
Mo Alie-Cox TE Indianapolis Colts
From a physical standpoint at 6-5/260 Ibs, there is a lot to like from Colts tight end Mo Alie-Cox. He can run block and his size makes him a mismatch going across the middle of the field where he has done most of his damage. The 28-year-old could become the immediate starter and do some good with this team.
Mo Alie-Cox is coming off the game of his career in Week 4— NFL (@NFL) October 11, 2021
: #INDvsBAL at 8:15pm ET on ESPN
: NFL App pic.twitter.com/dqyljO9JcR
Booby Massie OT Denver Broncos
The 32-year-old is hitting the open market again after one year in Denver. He’s played mostly right tackle during his 10-year career, but did fill in some at left tackle this year with the Broncos, earning a 70.0 overall grade according to PFF this year. Massie allowed five sacks and one holding penalty. When comparing that to current Saints tackles Armstead and Ramczyk (Ram 0 penalties 2 sacks), while Armstead (3 penalties 1 sack) there is obviously a dip in talent, however Massie would come at a fraction of the price Armstead is going to demand on the market.
Akiem Hicks DL Chicago Bears
Akiem Hicks might be one of those moves the Saints regime have pondered and possibly regretted over time. Since leaving the Saints he’s made a Pro Bowl and honestly made a name for himself as one of the more versatile defensive linemen in the league. A reunion could be on the horizon as we’ve seen the Saints bring back familiar faces several times (Mark Ingram, Malcom Jenkins, Roman Harper, Kenny Stills). With the Saints lacking talent and bodies at the defensive tackle position, bringing Hicks to play with Cam Jordan, Davenport, and David Onyemata could be a scary front four. Cam Jordan is already put here doing his part.
You sign back with us and I’ll take ya to capetown right after sb!!! https://t.co/6I9QOU7oQ3— cameron jordan (@camjordan94) March 12, 2022
Malik Hooker S Dallas Cowboys
Marcus Williams will no doubt be one of, if not the most sought-after free safety during the free agency period. Should he price himself out of the Big Easy, another player they could bring in would be Cowboys safety Malik Hooker. Coming off the torn Achilles last year, Hooker looked more and more comfortable as the year progressed, which is totally something normal for a guy coming off this type of injury. It usually takes a player that initial season to get back to the playing level they are accustomed to. Bringing in Hooker, who is a former Buckeye (plus) makes tons of sense if the Saints can’t get a deal done with Marcus Williams.
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