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    New Orleans Saints Offseason Preview 2023: Free Agents, Cut Candidates, and Team Needs

    A first look at the New Orleans Saints' 2023 offseason, with a rundown of their free agents, cut candidates, cap space, and team needs.

    Mickey Loomis and the New Orleans Saints overestimated their in-house talent last winter and made bad choices because of it. Is this the offseason they finally take their salary cap medicine? We explore in the Saints’ offseason preview, with a look at their free agents, cut candidates, and team needs.

    New Orleans Saints Offseason Preview: Avert Your Eyes

    For the “The Salary Cap Isn’t Real” crowd, this will be a painful few months. The Saints have a mediocre roster and an ungodly balance sheet. That’s what happens when you kick the can down the road for the better part of a decade.

    Is Dennis Allen a good head coach? Probably not.

    But how can you tell for sure when Andy Dalton is your quarterback, you carried $43 million in dead cap from the year before, Jarvis Landry and Michael Thomas didn’t give you one good season’s worth of receiving stats combined, and your highest-paid player is a diminished Cameron Jordan?

    And things are even bleaker in 2023. The Saints need to take drastic measures — tripling down on old, expensive players or trading away younger ones — simply to break even.

    To get their cap in a place it’s needed to upgrade the roster through free agency? It’s impossible to fathom.

    And oh yeah, the Saints don’t even get the benefit of a high draft pick after a mediocre season. They traded their first-rounder to Philadelphia last spring.

    Saints’ 2023 Salary Cap Space

    According to Spotrac, the Saints were over the 2023 salary cap by an astounding $57.8 million as of early January, easily giving them the worst situation in the NFL.

    That figure includes $4.8 million in dead cap and is based on an estimated $225 million NFL salary cap in 2023.

    The exact cap figure will not be known until the NFL announces it in early March.

    Saints Free Agents 2023

    The following Saints players are set to hit free agency. (Restricted free agents are noted with the abbreviation RFA, exclusive rights free agents by ERFA.)

    • WR Marquez Callaway (RFA)
    • QB Andy Dalton
    • DE Marcus Davenport
    • LB Andrew Dowell (ERFA)
    • OLB Kaden Ellis
    • S Justin Evans
    • P Blake Gillikin (ERFA)
    • SS J.T. Gray
    • OT Ethan Greenidge
    • LB Chase Hansen (ERFA)
    • WR Deonte Harty
    • DT Albert Huggins (ERFA)
    • RB Mark Ingram
    • WR Juwan Johnson (RFA)
    • DE Tanoh Kpassagnon
    • WR Jarvis Landry
    • DT David Onyemata
    • CB Bradley Roby
    • SS Daniel Sorenson
    • DE Kentavius Street
    • OT Calvin Throckmorton (ERFA)
    • DT Shy Tuttle
    • RB Dwayne Washington
    • CB P.J. Williams

    Defensive End Marcus Davenport

    Spotrac’s calculated market value: Four years, $93.1 million ($23.3 million AAV)

    Overview: If Davenport gets offered $20 million-plus this offseason, the Saints would be wise to not even consider matching. They cannot afford to, plus Davenport had a seriously disappointing individual season in 2022. The Saints would be wise to let Davenport walk and settle for the mid-round compensatory pick they would get in 2024.

    Quarterback Andy Dalton

    Spotrac’s calculated market value: Two years, $13.6 million ($6.8 million AAV)

    Overview: Considering their dire short-term outlook, the Saints could do far worse for a bridge quarterback than Dalton. They’re far too upside down financially this year for it to make sense to draft a quarterback high.

    On top of that, considering they lack a first-round pick, it just makes the most sense that a cheap veteran is signed to get New Orleans through a challenging season. Dalton actually outperformed his contract in 2022.

    Potential Cut Candidates

    • QB Jameis Winston ($4.4 million in cap savings)
    • WR Tre’Quan Smith ($1.9 million)

    Saints’ Team Needs Heading Into 2023 Offseason

    • Wide Receiver
    • Safety
    • Guard
    • Cornerback
    • Quarterback

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