2018 Disaster Draft: The New Orleans Saints

My wife and I recently went on a trip to New Orleans, and among the hurricanes and hand grenades and po boys and beignets there stand two oyster restaurants: Acme and Felix’s. Acme gets all the praise. It’s flashy, touristy and priced as such. Felix’s jams too many people into a too-small place with too-low ceilings that cause the smoke from the open grills to hang too long in the air. It’s not flashy, but man is it amazing. The overwhelming strength of the Saints is the same way, and the disaster draft reflects that. And guess what nerds, Drew Brees isn’t a free agent yet (his contract voids on March 14th) and it’s February, so don’t @ me. Who do the Saints protect in their disaster draft? It’s not that… Big Easy.

Lost to Free Agency: Nick Fairley, Kenny Vaccaro, Alex Okafor

The No Doubters:

Player POS. 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Cameron Jordan DE $14,247,000 $14,047,000 $11,647,000 UFA
Terron Armstead LT $13,500,000 $15,000,000 $15,000,000 $12,750,000 UFA
Larry Warford G $9,000,000 $10,555,000 $10,600,000 UFA
Max Unger C $8,000,000 $8,700,000 UFA
Drew Brees QB $6,000,000
Zach Strief RT $3,875,000 UFA
Marshon Lattimore CB $3,490,809 $4,188,971 $4,887,136 UFA
Ryan Ramczyk RT $2,020,808 $2,424,969 $2,829,131 UFA
Michael Thomas WR $1,396,083 $1,628,763 UFA
Alvin Kamara RB $878,193 $1,050,693 $1,220,693 UFA

The not flashy, most important part of the Saints that I highlighted above? That offensive line. Five players from that line are the no doubters making their way back, including last year’s first rounder Ryan Ramczyk. Watch any Saints game and you can see that they’re the engine that makes that train go, and they’re the reason why Drew Brees was able to have time to pick apart defenses last year. Brees returns, on a technicality, and his top two weapons are also no doubts (Michael Thomas an Alvin Kamara).The steal of the 2018 NFL draft’s first round, Marshon Lattimore, is possibly more of a no doubter than anyone on the list not named Drew Brees.


The More-Than-Likely Staying

Player POS. 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Mark Ingram RB $6,245,000 UFA
A.J. Klein ILB $5,200,000 $6,000,000 $10,000,000 UFA
Ted Ginn Jr. WR $4,500,000 $3,500,000 UFA
Andrus Peat G $3,625,204 UFA
Sheldon Rankins DT $3,491,358 $4,073,253 UFA
Marcus Williams FS $1,418,281 $1,701,938 $1,985,595 UFA

The Saints defense was not stellar, and that is reflected in their “more-than-likely” holdovers; players who will likely make the final cut but are not guaranteed. Inexpensive decent players in Klein, Rankins and Williams stay. Ted Ginn, Andrus Peat and Mark Ingram make the cut, as well, since the Saints know where their bread is buttered.


The Leftovers:

Like Mardi Gras beads on Wednesday morning, these players will find themselves unceremoniously swept away to another city.

Player POS. 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Coby Fleener TE $8,000,000 $9,000,000 $9,100,000 UFA
Thomas Morstead P $4,850,000 UFA
Josh Hill TE $2,833,334 UFA
Manti Te’o ILB $2,800,000 UFA
Nathan Stupar OLB $2,125,000 UFA
Craig Robertson ILB $2,000,000 UFA
Tyeler Davison DT $1,959,307 UFA
Michael Hoomanawanui TE $1,933,334 UFA
Chris Banjo SS $1,800,000 UFA
Hau’oli Kikaha OLB $1,675,644 UFA
Vonn Bell SS $1,083,354 $1,263,914 UFA
P.J. Williams CB $906,657 UFA
Alex Anzalone OLB $826,148 $933,148 $1,025,148 UFA
Andrew Tiller G $790,000 UFA
Jayrone Elliott OLB $790,000 UFA
David Onyemata DT $765,586 $855,586 UFA
Trey Hendrickson DE $754,572 $844,572 $935,072 UFA
Josh Huff WR $705,000 RFA
Jonathan Williams RB $680,000 RFA
Tommylee Lewis WR $631,668 RFA
Ken Crawley CB $631,668 RFA
Daniel Lasco RB $630,000 RFA
Gabe Ikard C $630,000 RFA
Shayne Skov ILB $630,000 RFA
Mykkele Thompson FS $630,000 RFA
Will Lutz K $630,000 RFA
Al-Quadin Muhammad DE $592,616 $682,616 $772,619 UFA
Taysom Hill QB $555,000 $645,000 RFA
Dan Arnold WR $555,000 $645,000 RFA
Austin Carr WR $555,000 $645,000 RFA
Paul Turner WR $555,000 ERFA
Trey Edmunds RB $555,000 $645,000 RFA
Alex Ellis TE $555,000 ERFA
Garrett Griffin TE $555,000 ERFA
John Fullington G $555,000 ERFA
Cameron Tom G $555,000 ERFA
Justin Hardee CB $555,000 ERFA
Devante Harris CB $555,000 ERFA
Arthur Maulet CB $555,000 ERFA
Mitchell Loewen TE $481,668 RFA
Devaroe Lawrence DT $480,500 $570,500 RFA
Travin Dural WR $480,000 ERFA
Nate Theaker G $480,000 ERFA
Landon Turner G $480,000 ERFA
Alex Jenkins DE $480,000 ERFA
Adam Bighill ILB $480,000 ERFA
Sae Tautu OLB $480,000 ERFA
Rickey Jefferson CB $480,000 ERFA
Bradley Sylve CB $480,000 ERFA

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