SiriusXM NFL Radio’s Adam Caplan reported Thursday that the New Orleans Saints plan to host free agent cornerback T.J. Carrie on a visit to the team’s facility in the days ahead, making him the latest corner to land on their radar. Previous reports linked the Saints to Chidobe Awuzie (who signed a three-year deal with the Bengals) as well as Richard Sherman, who remains unsigned.
He’s an interesting prospect. NewOrleans.Football’s Nick Underhill identified Carrie as someone who could help the Saints check off an item from their to-do list; adding Carrie as a low-cost free agent would give the team a possible starter opposite Marshon Lattimore while letting them remain flexible on draft day. The Saints would probably still need to draft a cornerback, but it wouldn’t be a backbreaking necessity.
A seventh round draft pick by the Raiders back in 2014, Carrie went on to appear in 107 regular season games, including a two-year stint with the Browns. He spent the 2020 season with the Colts, where he played on both sides of the field at cornerback while racking up a personal-best 251 special teams snaps. He’d be a good option to help fill in for Justin Hardee, the longtime Saints backup and kicking game ace who joined the Jets this offseason.
Carrie intercepted two passes and recovered a loose fumble last year, while scoring two touchdowns: one was a 47-yard interception return off of Sam Darnold, while the other was a 6-yard blocked punt return against the Titans.
And Carrie would likely be more affordable than the more-prominent names out there. He had a salary cap hit of just $1.047 million in 2020, which is much more in-line with New Orleans’ budget. Signing at a similar salary also wouldn’t jeopardize any of the Saints’ projected compensatory draft picks in 2022; Alex Anzalone recently left on a comparable deal with the Lions, which wouldn’t qualify for even a seventh rounder, so those two cancel each other out.
So it makes sense for both sides to come to an agreement here. Carrie can compete for a starting job. The Saints can plug a hole on their depth chart. Let’s see how the situation develops.