5 Underrated Free Agents the New Orleans Saints Should Target This Offseason
Underrated Free Agents the Saints Should Consider This Offseason
The New Orleans Saints were host to one of the best turnarounds in the NFL during the 2013-14 season. From 7-9 to 12-4, the return of Sean Payton and the addition of defensive coordinator Rob Ryan led to such a great comeback season for the team.
One of the things that has defined the Saints since Payton took over in 2006 is the ability to bring in guys that other teams wouldn't touch. Remember Drew Brees in '06? Or perhaps 2009 when the team picked up safety Darren Sharper who ended up being a key player in that year's Super Bowl run. Or even Darren Sproles in 2011 who has since become one of the most feared playmakers in the entire league. This truly is a team of misfits, and that is a major part of what has made the team so successful.
Saints general manager Mickey Loomis has a great eye for unearthing talent that other GMs wouldn't ever notice. Several of the team's best players have been guys that were cut by other teams for any number of reasons. The Saints simply understand that value of finding undervalued talent.
The 2014 free agent crop is a great mix of both highly recognizable talent and underrated guys. And while the Saints will look to keep one top-flight free agent in Jimmy Graham, you can bet that instead of chasing after the big names, both Payton and Loomis will instead be scouring the free agent waters for guys that other teams have thrown away. And heck, who can blame them? It's worked wonders in New Orleans so far.
Karlos Dansby, Inside Linebacker
When Karlos Dansby re-signed with the Arizona Cardinals before the season, little was thought of it. After a year in which he produced at an elite level the entire season, he should be high up on several team's wish lists. In New Orleans, Dansby could immediately step in at either inside linebacker spot, and do wonders for the entire defense.
Captain Munnerlyn, Cornerback
Despite standing at only 5-foot-9, Captain Munnerlyn plays bigger than what his size would suggest. He's a great fit to shut down any opponent's slot receiver, and in today's NFL, that is crucial. In Munnerlyn, the Saints would not only be getting a great player, but also robbing a divisional rival of a very important defender.
Eugene Monroe, Tackle
On the left side of New Orleans offensive line, it appears that Terron Armstead is the future. On the right side, however, Zach Strief could be on his way out. Who better to take over than Eugene Monroe? Although he's not a big name, Monroe is quietly one of the top tackles in the league, and he would immensely help out a struggling offensive line.
Alex Mack, Center
New Orleans starting center Brian De La Puente could be on his way out, and if that's the case, the team shouldn't hesitate to snag Alex Mack in free agency. Although he is in relative obscurity due to both his position, and the fact he plays in Cleveland, Mack is easily a top five center in the league, and the Saints would be smart to take a good look at him.
Anthony Spencer, Outside Linebacker
Anthony Spencer, who was franchise tagged last offseason by the Dallas Cowboys only played in one game during the 2013-14 season due to season-ending microfracture surgery on his knee. The Saints have a need at outside linebacker with Victor Butler returning with uncertainty surrounding him, and a lack of great talent at the position. However, Spencer is exactly the type of guy that the Saints look for. If the team were to make a move for Spencer, Mickey Loomis might have another steal on his hands.