With the NFL free agency period winding down and teams preparing for the 2022 NFL draft, the New Orleans Saints still have some questions some offense. In particular, the tight end position. Juwan Johnson returned to the Saints and will look to continue to develop. Adam Trautman had an up and down season and to be fair we may have put some unfair expectations on the first-year starter. Next week, we will focus on some draft prospects but first let's take a look at some veteran players the Saints could add to the tight end room.
Jimmy Graham was once considered one of, if not the most dynamic and electric weapons in the NFL. How times have changed, Brees and Payton are no longer with the team and now the 35-year-old will look to play for a 5th NFL team as he enters his 12th season. There had been some ramblings that Graham might be considering retirement following the Bears playoff loss to the Saints in 2020. What a chapter in Graham’s career it would be, to return home and finish where it all started. Graham would be an immediate redzone weapon for the Saints as he recorded eight touchdowns just 2 seasons ago.
Kyle Rudolph has been a household name in the NFL since entering the league in 2011. After leaving the Vikings last season, Rudolph caught on with the New York Giants and had a rather lackluster season. Behind his prime, Rudolph could easily come to New Orleans and be an excellent mentor and leader not only for the tight ends, but the offense as well. Rudolph isn’t the player he once was but could serve the Jason Witten role as he was to Dalton Schultz and Blake Jarwin.
Now before you say or think anything about Jared Cook, yes, we all know what happened during the playoff game. It's in the past, it happened now we move on. Last year, the Saints could’ve certainly used someone like Jared Cook especially in the redzone (17th) and on 3rd downs (30th) which is where the Los Angeles Chargers used a by committee approach when it came to the tight end position as Cook split time with Donald Parham Jr. Cook still lead all tight ends in yards, receptions, and touchdowns on the Chargers last season. I don’t think it will likely happen at this point, but I think we can all agree that the Saints certainty could have used a player like Cook last year.
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