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New Orleans Saints 2022 free agency period grades: Week 1

New Orleans Saints 2022 free agency period
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The New Orleans Saints find themselves in uncharted territory at the start of the league’s free agency period. If you have not heard by now, the Saints are one of the last teams remaining in pursuit of highly coveted quarterback Deshaun Watson. The former Clemson star QB did not see action for the entire 2021 season due to not wanting to play for the Houston Texans.

Watson also decided to sit out the entire year due to allegations of sexual misconduct coming from 22 different women. What makes the pursuit of Watson an intense situation for the fan base is that the other team involved is the Saints hated rival, the Atlanta Falcons. At this time, Watson has not decided on which team he will decide to waive his no-trade clause for and join.

However, that can change at any given moment. New Orleans is usually not a team that makes splash moves at the beginning of the free agency period. Instead, the organization typically waits for about a week or two to start making moves to improve its roster. Giving up a significant amount of assets for a generational talent like Watson breaks the Saints’ method of operation when it comes to acquiring players. Despite the push for Watson, the Saints have made moves to improve their already talented roster, especially on defense. Today, we will grade those transactions and examine how they fit into the Saints depth chart.

Saints sign Safety Marcus Maye

The Saints lost one of their top players on defense in safety Marcus Williams when he signed a a five-year deal worth $70 million with the Baltimore Ravens. The team immediately addressed the void by signing former Jets safety Marcus Maye to a three-year, $28.5 million deal with $15 million guaranteed . Maye played the entire 2021 season on a franchise tag, but his season was cut short after suffering a torn Achilles injury against the Indianapolis Colts. He should be ready to go by the start of training camp.

Based on the scouting report for Maye, he does not have the range of Williams when it comes to coverage, but can provide the same of level of production. History has shown us that players that join the Saints after spending time with the Jets tend to become upper echelon contributors. Players in the past such as Johnathan Vilma and Demario Davis are individuals that elevated the Saints defense to another level.

Overall Grade: B

Saints sign Defensive End Kentavius Street

Photo courtesy of MAX BECHERER.

Do you remember the player that sacked Drew Brees in 2020 which led to the future Hall of Famer missing games due to a rib injury? Well, he’s now a part of the New Orleans Saints. The transaction was announced last night in the midst of everyone trying to find any new updates on Deshaun Watson.

Kentavius Street comes from one talented defensive line in San Francisco to joining another in New Orleans. Street finished the 2021 season with three sacks, and 27 combined tackles. His level of intensity will greatly benefit the Saints defense. It’s going to be interesting to see how Dennis Allen and his co-coordinators Khris Richard and Ryan Nielsen will utilize his skillset once the season begins.

Overall Grade: B

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Meet Derrick Branch, the founder and chief wordsmith at Strike 7 Sports. With a sharp focus on the NFL and the NBA, Derrick's expertise in sports is matched only by his passion for sharing it with others. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communications from the prestigious University of Arizona Global. Let his insightful and engaging writing take you to the heart of the action.

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