New Orleans Saints, NFL

New Orleans Saints free agency 2019: Top 5 targets

The New Orleans Saints spent much of the 2018 season as the favorites to win the Super Bowl. After a crazy call ended their season, what moves can they make to change their fortunes in 2019?

The New Orleans Saints season ended about as bad as it possibly could for any team. It came via a bad call on a pass to Tommylee Lewis, as Los Angeles Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman collided, helmet-to-helmet, with Lewis a full second before the ball arrived, and there were zero flags on the field. The Saints deserved better, Drew Brees deserved better and the fans deserved better.

After such a painful way to end the season, the Saints could look to make major moves in the offseason to ensure another year as a top contender. Brees’ career is in its twilight, and this era of Saints football could come to an end with only one title, one that came a decade ago.

With these facts in mind, the Saints could look to make a splash in free agency. They have tried to do so in the past, but it’s not always been successful. However, there are players becoming available this season that may be both the right price and the right fit.

With a team so good, the Saints don’t have many needs. They have the quarterback in place, the best running back duo in the league, one of the best wide receivers in football, dominant defense and an above-average offensive line. However, we saw last season that wasn’t enough.

This year’s free agency class could give them that extra push they need to become Super Bowl favorites. These five players are the best fits.

Sheldon Richardson

The Saints could lose two of their defensive tackles in free agency. Both Jay Bromley and Tyeler Davison could sign with any team in the NFL this season. Obviously, Davison is much more important than Bromley, and he has said he’d like to return to the Saints, but there are more intriguing names on the market this season.

At first, this seemed like Ndamukong Suh could be a free agency target for New Orleans. The way he plays the game could fit into the demeanor of the Saints defense. He adds to their intimidating reputation, but it might be for all the wrong reasons. Suh was very good in the playoffs last season, so he could be a stretch run guy, but he might want too much money. He’s coming off a one-year, $14 million deal. He won’t get that kind of money this year, but he should still get a lot.

Sheldon Richardson is a different story. He was also given a one-year prove-it deal with the Minnesota Vikings, but he played well most of the season. Also, he’s just 28 years old. He has a few years of high-level production ahead, even if he’s yet to meet his potential.

With the Saints, Richardson could sign what looks like a lucrative contract, but one lacking guarantees. ESPN’s Bill Barnwell guesses he could be looking for something in the five-year, $50 million range. That is a pretty penny, but with his history most teams won’t look to give him big guarantees. If the Saints could front-load the deal, giving them an out, it could work.

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