Several of the New Orleans Saints’ key contributors are set to enter free agency this this offseason.
Ideally, the Saints would like to bring back all of these players but due to the salary cap, the might not be able to.
Here are the six biggest free agency decisions facing the Saints this offseason:
Trey Hendrickson, DL
2020 Stats: 25 total tackles, 13.5 sacks, 12 tackles for loss, forced fumble, pass defended
Outlook: Hendrickson finished the regular season second in the NFL in sacks. Hendrickson is coming off the best season of his career but the Saints are deep at his position. Retaining the 6-foot-4, 270-pound defensive end could prove to be challenging as he’s sure to draw interest from other teams.
Jameis WInston, QB
2020 Stats: 63.6 completion percentage for 75 yards
Outlook: The Saints signed Winston to a one-year deal this offseason. Saint coach Sean Payton said he’s been impressed with the former Heisman Trophy winner. Payton expressed a desire to have Winston return next season on Thursday.
Sheldon Rankins, DL
2020 Stats: 20 total tackles, three for a loss, 1.5 sacks and a pass defended
Outlook: The Saints drafted Rankins in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft. His career in New Orleans has been plagued with injuries but when healthy Rankins has been very productive. This past season he tallied 20 total tackles, 1.5 sacks and pass defended.
Marcus Williams, S
2020 Stats: 59 total tackles, three interceptions, seven passes defended
Outlook: Williams has tallied 13 interception since the Saint strafed him in 2017. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound defensive back tied for the team lead with with three picks this past season. The ball-hawking safety could see a lot of interest in free agency.
Alex Anzalone, LB
2020 Stats: 41 total tackles, three for a loss
Outlook: Anzalone played his second full season with the Saints. He tallied 41 tackles including three for a loss. Anzalone saw his snaps reduced after the Saints traded for linebacker Kwon Alexander mid-season. When Alexander went down with injury he received a majority of the playing time alongside linebacker Demario Davis.
Jared Cook, TE
2020 Stats: 37 catches, 504 yards, seven touchdowns
Outlook: Cook lead the Saints with seven receiving touchdowns this season. Overall, his numbers were down from his previous season in New Orleans. The Saints drafted a promising young tight end in Adam Trautman in the 2020 NFL Draft which makes bringing Cook back less of a priority.
Other Saints’ free agents to be:
Cornerback P. J. Williams
Cornerback Ken Crawley
Linebacker Craig Robertson
Defensive back D.J. Swearinger
Running back Ty Montgomery
Fullback Michael Burton
Offensive lineman James Hurst
Defensive back Johnson Bademosi
Cornerback Justin Hardee
Running back Dwayne Washington
Receiver Bennie Fowler
Safety J.T. Gray
Offensive lineman Cameron Tom