Guessing the trade marker for Saints, other NFL teams ahead of deadline
With the November 1 NFL trade deadline fast approaching, teams are taking stock of their rosters. Those who plan to make a run towards the playoffs and more are buyers in the market, hoping to add a key component or two. Other franchises who are feeling hopeless for now look to make moves with hopes of better days ahead.
Will the New Orleans participate as buyers or sellers?
The Saints are one of the teams that still legitimately have a chance to win their division, yet also need to be looking to the future by adding more draft capital. Yes, the possibility of Sean Payton taking a new head coaching job would bring the Saints extra draft picks in a trade, but I wouldn’t count on that right now when sellers can find good deals.
There are some players in Black and Gold who opposing teams would love to acquire, but the future cap hit the Saints would absorb in dead money with many of them could prove to be prohibitive.
The team’s first round pick in the 2018 draft had 9.0 sacks, 16 pressures and 9 TFL last season, mostly coming in the back half of the schedule The 6-6, 265 pounder has tallied only 16 stops and 1/2 sack this season. In his 5th NFL season, he has 117 career tackles and 19.5 sacks. It’s a contract year for Davenport so trading him would be easy enough for New Orleans. He is certainly worthy of as high as a second rounder at his premium position but more than likely a little less would come on an expiring deal.
The starting defensive tackle was suspended for 6 games in 2021. Since his return, Onyemata has managed 21 QB pressures and 2.5 sacks. He has been a very disruptive force with the Saints but since the suspension, he hasn’t been the same player. In 55 games and 30 starts with the Saints, he has 17.5 sacks, 63 pressures and 21 tackles for loss. He could bring a mid-to-late round offer but his $10.6 million in dead cap for next year at a position where the team is thin make that unlikely.
The former undrafted free agent arrived in 2022 as a great find out of Tennessee who has paid dividends. He has snared 73 passes for 1,029 yards and seven scores. To move him could prove risky since the immediate future of Jarvis Landry and Michael Thomas is a huge question mark but he will hit the restricted free agent market in ’23. Thus far this season, Callaway has 11 catches for 118 yards and a touchdown. His potential as a talent on a cheap deal could net the Saints a mid to late draft pick.
Another undrafted free agent who has flourished since his arrival, he’s a cheap talent on the edge others may be eyeing closely. This year, Granderson has 13 stops with a apair for losses and a 1/2 sack. He has 63 career tackles with 9.5 sacks. Granderson inked a twoyear extension with New Orleans back in March. He is a $589,722 hit for ’22, but that number jumps to $3.7 million next season. The right buyer could perhaps snag him for a mid-round pick.
Although he received a hero’s welcome upon his return home, the 30-year old has not metwhat was expected when he signed a three-year, $33 million deal. Although he’s the team’s 3rd leading tackler with 34 stops plus an interception, the Saints could consider any offers. The ex-LSUstar out of St. Augustine High is worth $916,667 to a new team this year and $7 million next. His 10 years of experince, locker room presence and leadership might be appealing if another team thinks Mathieu needs the extra motivation to get back closer to his peak performance. The Saints could gain a couple of picks for him if a needy team in the secondary comes calling but they won’t be premium choices. The Noney Badger has 631 career tackles, 10 sacks and 27 interceptions.
There are a few other NFL players of note drawing attention on the trade market as well….
-Bears LB Roquan Smith is in his final season of his rookie contract, A first round (5th overall) in 2018, he’s about to get a rich new deal. Will the Bears slap a franchise tag on him at season’s end or try to get something of value for him now? The Colts and Chargers could be two suitors. The UGA product has accumulated 602 tackles and 16.5 sacks in his short career. In August, he requested a trade. NFC West leader Seattle, a team with defense needs and extra draft booty from the Russell Wilson deal, might make a run at Smith.
-Steelers WR Chase Claypool, a second round pick in 2020, has 149 catches for 1999 yards and 12 scores in his career. Thus far this season, he has 26 grabs for 266 yards and a touchdown. Reportedly, the Green Bay Packers are taking a long look at the the 6-foot4, 238-pound receiver.
-Broncos DE Bradley Chubb, another former fifth overall choice perhaps on the block, has totaled 168 tackles and 26 sacks as a pro. This season, he has 24 stops with 5.5 sacks for the 2-5 Broncos. A Pro Bowler in 2020, Chubb (like Smith) is in the final year of his rookie contract. A proven pass rusher holds great value in the league. New ownership in Denver means the organization is hard to read right now.
-Despite Carolina’s 2-5 record, the Panthers have rejected offers for edge rusher Brian Burns. Reportedly, two number one picks have been dangled in from an organization clearly in transition. Hhe may be a keeper due to his positional value while WR D.J. Moore, DT Derrick Brown and CB Jaycee Horn have also drawn interest as quality trae chips. The Rams are watching Moore in particular.
-Dolphins TE Mike Gesicki has 199 catches, 2,255 yards and 13 scores in his career as a receiver-first type at his position. Tampa Bay is said to be interested in the 27-year old who still has lots of tred on his tires. Tom Brady needs a reliable tight end target that has not been there this year with the retirement of Rob Gronkowski.
-Raiders SS Johnathan Abram, a first round pick in 2019 out of Mississippi State, finished last season with 116 tackles. Las Vegas did not pick up his last option for 2023. Since they’re off to a slow start, a loss to the Saints this weekend could trigger a desire to sell him and maybe more.
-Commanders CB William Jackson III, 29 years old, has requested a trade. Looking for a fresh start, the first round pick of the Bengals in 2016 is in the second season of a front-loaded three-year contract. He was benched in the fifth game of this season so it’s not hard to imagine a trade here.
-Commanders DT Darron Payne is in the final year os his rookie contract. The 13th overall selection in 2018 is very active in the middle. The Bengals seem to have interest with tackle D.J. Reader sidelined and end Trey Hendrickson not at 100 percent. Payne has 18 sacks and 12 pass deflections in his career.
-Ravens safety Chuck Clark has 44 starts with 80 tackles, three TFL and two interceptions last season. He has only missed two games in his five-year NFL career. With Baltimore signing Marcus Williams to a $70 million deal and spending a 2022 first round pick on safety Kyle Hamilton in the ’22 draft, Clark is expendable. He is set to make $3.28 million in 2023 and then becomes an unrestricted free agent. He may be a fit in Philadelphia.
-WR Brandin Cooks, first round pick of the Saints in 2014, is with his fourth NFL team. He tallied 90 catches for 1,037 yards in 2021, his sixth 1,000 yard plus season, and then signed a two-year extension with the Texans in April worth $39 million. The 29-year old will be due $18 million next season. The Packers, Chiefs and Rams are said to have interest in a proven field-stretching commodity.
-Jets WR Denzel Mims was a second round pick in 2020 but has been inactive this season. He has only 31 catches the past two seasons but there’s big play ability in him. The J-E-T-S….Jets, Jets, Jets are a surprise at 5-2 and looking for big things after years of misery. They’ll deal from surplus to improve elsewhere. The wide-receiver thin Ravens could offer a late rounder.
-Broncos WR Jerry Jeudy, 2020 first rounder (15th overall), has been a solid perofmer. The Biletnikoff winner at Alabama in 2018 has cuaght a league low 51% of passes thrown his way this year, totaling 24 grabs for 386 yards and one score. Many see him as a classic change-of-scenery candidate. The Giants, Packers and Bills are possible landing spots.
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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, Rene Nadeau has been involved in sports ever since his earliest memories. Rene played basketball, wrestled, ran track, and was an All-District running back in football at John F. Kennedy High School. He went on to be a member of the LSU football program, developing a passion for the game in even…