The New Orleans Saints aren’t really in a position to be picky about available wide receivers. With Michael Thomas and Tre’Quan Smith both missing extensive time this summer with injuries and a two-game suspension hanging over Deonte Harris’ head, it’s fallen to second-year pro Marquez Callaway to be the tip of the spear for the unit. Things have gotten so rough that Chris Hogan hung up his lacrosse gear and immediately started outplaying his competition in Saints training camp. Jameis Winston could use a better supporting cast.
That means it’s noteworthy when Breshad Perriman became available. The Detroit Lions waived the veteran after a rough summer — between a hip injury, Jared Goff at quarterback, and struggling to buy into the rebuilding Dan Campbell-led Lions, he just didn’t move the needle for one of the few receiving corps in worse shape than New Orleans’. So why even float his name?
Perriman’s best season came in 2019, when his quarterback was Jameis Winston. He was an able third wheel behind Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, and stepped up in a big way as Winston’s primary target once those two were sidelined by injuries late in the season; in their last five games together, Perriman and Winston connected on a combined 25 receptions for 506 yards, scoring five times. However, Perriman fell back to earth in 2020 (on the doomed New York Jets, helmed by Adam Gase and Sam Darnold) and now he’s washed out of Detroit. He hasn’t lasted anywhere he’s played, but his flash in the pan with Winston is an interesting aberration.
Maybe Perriman can find that energy again when paired with a big-armed quarterback who will trust him (maybe too faithfully) to go out and make a play. The Saints aren’t in a position to write him off out of hand. But Campbell’s strong relationship with his mentor Sean Payton could end up outweighing any chemistry Winston and Perriman once shared. At this point, though, with little to no salary cap impact and a clear need at the position — I’ve got to ask, why not give it a try? What do the Saints have to lose?
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