Sean Payton is back, and with him so is the gun slinging mentality the New Orleans Saints boasted so well since becoming contenders. Their top goal, besides winning of course, is improving their future prospects after losing valuable draft picks because of the bounty scandal. Can an NFL trade or two help?
Nobody best represents the buy low/sell high idea of trade value for the New Orleans Saints better than wide receiver Lance Moore. At age 29 he comes off his best season as a professional, notching 65 catches for 1,041 yards and six touchdowns. With him set to turn the dreaded 3-0 just before the season starts in September, his value won’t ever go higher than it is at present. So from the Saints perspective, as a team that regularly seems to churn out good receivers, trading him makes some sense since they’ve fallen behind in terms of draft picks over the past few seasons. Moore is a favorite target of Drew Brees, but isn’t the most important. That makes him expendable in the right situation.
It’s no fun being stuck in a crowded backfield. Players who deserve to play simply can’t because they might not come across as the most talented. Pierre Thomas certainly fits that category. Despite helping the team win a Super Bowl and earning a reputation as a hard runner who doesn’t quit on a player, Thomas has been relegated to third string on the running back depth chart. While he still gets carries, the bulk of the workload belongs to Mark Ingram and Darren Sproles. Having already dealt Chris Ivory for draft help, it isn’t a stretch to think they might use the 28-year old Thomas for the same goal in 2014 as they look to reload a depleted roster.
It’s hard to believe how players can rise and fall so quickly in the NFL. Malcolm Jenkins was a promising 1st round pick in 2009, helped the New Orleans Saints defense become a force during their Super Bowl run and became a second team All-Pro the next year when he moved to free safety. Sadly the two seasons since then have only gotten worse for him, culminating in a disaster last year. Jenkins made 65 tackles but only managed one interception. Free safeties are expected to have more than that, which prompted his team to give him competition by drafting Texas safety Kenny Vaccaro. Fans already have him penciled in as the day one starter, which means the lifeline Jenkins has in the Big Easy grows thin. Perhaps he should head things off by requesting a trade to a team he might make a better fit.