New Orleans Saints Offseason Needs
The New Orleans Saints were put in a tough spot in 2012 due to all of the suspensions from ‘Bountygate’. If anything, they proved the importance of head coach Sean Payton, who missed the entire season. The Saints stumbled to a 7-9 finish as they simply could not stop anyone defensively. They missed his play calling on offense, too.
New Orleans improved as the season progressed last year. Now, with the suspensions over, it can get back to focusing on winning another Super Bowl. Priority No. 1 is improving a stop unit that ranked last in the league in total defense (440.1 yards/game). I’ll take a look at the Saints’ additions and losses this offseason, while also going over their top 5 needs heading into the 2013 NFL Draft.
CB Keenan Lewis
OT Jason Smith
S Jim Leonhard
QB Luke McCown
DE/DT Kenyon Coleman
DE/OLB Victor Butler
TE Ben Watson
QB Seneca Wallace
DE Turk McBride
OLB Jonathan Casillas
OT Jermon Bushrod
QB Chase Daniel
OLB Will Herring
CB Johnny Patrick
TE David Thomas
Top 5 Needs
1. Offensive Tackle - The loss of LT Jermon Bushrod is huge. He’ll be missed, and now the Saints desperately need to find a replacement for him. RT Zach Strief struggled on the field when healthy last year, so they could use an upgrade for him, too. New Orleans signed Jason Smith to a one-year deal this offseason for a stop-gap.
2. Nose Tackle - With the change to a 3-4 scheme, the Saints need a true nose tackle to plug the middle. Brodrick Bunkley likely isn’t the answer. 2012 draft pick Akiem Hicks played inside last year in the 4-3, but if the Saints move him to DE, the nose tackle position will be a glaring need.
3. Outside Linebacker - Jonathan Vilma is due $4.8 million in 2013 with a $1.1 million roster bonus. He wasn’t as effective as he had been in the past when returning from suspension last year. The Saints must improve their pass rush, especially with the switch to a 3-4. WLB Jonathan Casillas bolted for Tampa Bay, and SLB Scott Shanle is a free agent. With Junior Galette, Martez Wilson and Victor Butler scheduled to compete for the starting rush linebacker spots, the Saints could definitely use a top-notch pass rusher here.
4. Safety - Roman Harper and Malcolm Jenkins were completely exposed in pass covers last season. Upgrading Harper was a must as he’s simply done for, and they did that by signing Jim Leonhard this offseason. Jenkins will be entering the final year of his deal, so he may get one more shot, but the Saints should at least bring in some competition for him.
5. Wide Receiver - New Orleans has been able to get by without any big names at receiver. Marques Colston and Lance Moore are underrated pass catches, but the team needs a true No. 3 receiver. Devery Henderson and Courtney Roby are free agents. Joseph Morgan showed flashes last year, but he’s not going to be a true No. 3. The Saints must provide Drew Brees with another weapon or two.
More NFL Team Offseason Needs Articles
|AFC West||AFC North||AFC South||AFC East|
|Kansas City Chiefs||Pittsburgh Steelers||Indianapolis Colts||New England Patriots|
|San Diego Chargers||Baltimore Ravens||Jacksonville Jaguars||New York Jets|
|Oakland Raiders||Cleveland Browns||Houston Texans||Miami Dolphins|
|Denver Broncos||Cincinnati Bengals||Tennessee Titans||Buffalo Bills|
|NFC West||NFC North||NFC South||NFC East|
|Seattle Seahawks||Chicago Bears||Atlanta Falcons||Philadelphia Eagles|
|St. Louis Rams||Green Bay Packers||New Orleans Saints||New York Giants|
|San Francisco 49ers||Detroit Lions||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Dallas Cowboys|
|Arizona Cardinals||Minnesota Vikings||Carolina Panthers||Washington Redskins|