Given their dire salary cap situation, the Saints were unable to do too much in free agency. They watched several high-profile players leave for other clubs, and the contracts they handed out themselves were on the more modest end of the spectrum.
Despite that, and despite the fact that New Orleans is now officially in the post-Drew Brees era, the club still has a talented roster that is capable of competing for a playoff spot. But in order to maintain the level of defensive proficiency the Saints have established under DC Dennis Allen, they will need to address their cornerback situation.
Head coach Sean Payton recently acknowledged as much. “Corner is an area we have to address between now and the season and I think we will be able to find that,” Payton said (via Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk). “But yeah, we lost some good players that we knew we might have to to get our numbers below [the salary cap]. I think that’s part of operating in the salary cap era.”
2020 starter Janoris Jenkins became a cap casualty in March, and while the Saints were able to re-sign P.J. Williams, he is a slot corner and safety, not an outside-the-numbers starter. Patrick Robinson will be back, but he hasn’t played more than 24% of the team’s defensive snaps since he returned to New Orleans in 2018. After Williams and Robinson, there is not much else behind CB1 Marshon Lattimore.
The Saints are armed with the No. 28 overall pick in this week’s draft, and if they elect to go CB with that choice, a player like Florida State’s Asante Samuel Jr. or Virginia Tech’s Caleb Farley might be available. If they wait until Day 2, UCF’s Aaron Robinson or Kentucky’s Kelvin Joseph could be the pick.
There are also a few intriguing veterans that remain available on the free agent market. The Saints expressed interest in Richard Sherman earlier this offseason, and he is still looking for a new home. Jason McCourty and Steven Nelson are also unsigned and have generated some interest on the open market.
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