On March 25th, Pro Football Focus (PFF) rated the offseason free agency period for the NFC South Division. To the surprise of many, the New Orleans Saints were given a “C” rating, dead last in the division.
The Atlanta Falcons were awarded first place with a B, followed by Carolina (B), and Tampa Bay (B).
Free Agency Grades for the NFC South pic.twitter.com/XQtd15jpTs— PFF (@PFF) March 25, 2023
After signing a new franchise quarterback, re-signing WR Michael Thomas, TE Juwan Johnson and bringing in several well-known free agents, the Saints are currently sitting in a much better position than most would have predicted. However, not everything went Mickey Loomis’ way this offseason.
It should also be noted that Carolina and Atlanta also had impressive offseasons, both signing several free agents that once called New Orleans home.
Let’s take a quick look at the free agent signings and losses for New Orleans at this point and if the “C” rating was warranted.
Signings (Ranked from most to least beneficial)
- Signed QB Derek Carr from Las Vegas
- Signed RB Jamaal Williams from Detroit
- Re-signed WR Michael Thomas
- Re-signed TE Juwan Johnson
- Signed DE Nathan Shepherd from New York Jets
- Signed DT Khalen Saunders from Kansas City
- Signed S Johnathan Abram from Seattle
- Re-signed DE Malcolm Roach
- Signed CB Lonnie Johnson from Tennessee
- Re-signed QB Jameis Winston
- Re-signed P Blake Gillikin
- Signed RT Storm Norton from Los Angeles Chargers
- Re-signed LB Ty Summers
Losses (ranked from most unfortunate to least unfortunate)
- LB Kaden Elliss (Atlanta)
- DT Shy Tuttle (Carolina)
- DT David Onyemata (Atlanta)
- DE Marcus Davenport (Minnesota)
- QB Andy Dalton (Carolina)
- WR Marquez Callaway (Denver)
- WR Deonte Harty (Buffalo)
- S Justin Evans (Philadelphia)
Although the list of free agent signings is notable, perhaps the most impressive aspect of this offseason was the impact on the team’s cap space.
Going into this offseason, the Saints were ranked dead last in cap space with -$59 million in space. As of March 24th, the Saints have $16.1 million in cap space which is tenth-most in the league.
NFL Top 10 in Cap Space, per Over The Cap— NFL Rumors (@nflrums) March 25, 2023
For the Saints to go from 32nd to 10th in the league for cap space while signing and re-signing some high-power players is nothing short of remarkable. The strategic restructuring of contracts and player additions by Loomis prepares the Saints for a successful 2023 but also a financially successful future for years to come.
It appears that PFF did not take this into account, because the cap space movement alone is worth an A in my personal opinion.
How would you grade the Saints’ offseason thus far?
This poll is closed
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