The New Orleans Saints underperformed during the 2021 NFL season and one of the reasons behind that was their inconsistent offense. After finishing 2020 with a top-5 offensive unit, injuries and a quarterback carousel caused them to average just 21.4 PPG in 2021 (No. 19).
Although we're several days into free agency, the Saints are fortunate that there are still available free agents that can help improve the offense. What's even better is that New Orleans may be able to sign one or two of those players at a cheaper price as the offseason continues.
Here's a look at three low-cost playmakers that the Saints can afford in free agency.
Saints Free Agency
1. Cole Beasley, WR
The Buffalo Bills released veteran wideout Cole Beasley this week after being unable to find a trading partner. That's good news for the Saints because it means they can likely get him at a bargain price due to a lack of interest. Despite being in his 30s, Beasley remains as one of the top slot receivers in the NFL. He's recorded 231 receptions, 2,438 yards and 11 touchdowns in 46 games with the Bills. While he had a down year in 2021, he was close to a 1,000-yard performance in 2020. With Michael Thomas' knack for running slant routes, a combination of him and Beasley could cause havoc in the middle of the field for opposing defenses.
2. Gerald Everett, TE
Tight end was one of the Saints' weaker positions last season. Between Nick Vannett being more suited for a blocking role and Adam Trautman's inexperience, New Orleans could use a veteran like Gerald Everett. The 27-year-old veteran recorded career highs in receptions (48), yards (478) and touchdowns (four) with the Seattle Seahawks last season. While those aren't mind-blowing numbers, it's important to point out that Vannett and Trautman combined for a 36-396-3 stat line in 20 total games last year. Everett also had 26 first-down receptions compared to the duo's combined 20. Even if he isn't a top-10 TE, Everett has enough playmaking ability to help the Saints' offense. Plus, they can likely get him on a cheaper deal now that most of the top tight ends have been signed.
3. Will Fuller, WR
It's safe to say that the Will Fuller experiment was a bust for the Miami Dolphins. Injuries held him to just two games played, leaving him looking for a new team this offseason. That situation bodes well for the Saints because it means they can probably sign the 27-year-old wideout to a more team-friendly contract due to his injury history. If Fuller can stay healthy for the majority of the 2022 season, the Saints could make out like bandits. He showed a glimpse of his potential during the 2020 NFL campaign when he recorded a 53-879-8 stat line in 11 games with the Houston Texans, which translates to over 1,300 receiving yards and 12 TDs in a 17-game season. Getting the version of Fuller alongside a healthy Thomas could spell disaster for opposing secondaries, regardless of who's throwing them the ball.