Jimmy Garoppolo trade destination No. 1: New Orleans Saints
The New Orleans Saints, also big players in the Deshaun Watson trade market, are still nevertheless reeling from quarterback Drew Brees’ retirement two seasons ago, and it’s pretty evident backup quarterback Taysom Hill isn’t going to be the long-term answer.
Just like the Panthers, the Saints still have talented pieces on the roster and enjoy being in a relatively weak division. That’ll be an attractive note in a Jimmy Garoppolo trade, yet head coach Sean Payton stepping away from football en route to Dennis Allen taking over should cast some doubts.
New Orleans does, however, own its own picks in the first five rounds of the draft, plus an additional third-round compensatory selection, so there’s enough ammunition to strike a deal between both sides.
Would it go down, though?
Why Saints trade for Jimmy Garoppolo
Also like Carolina, the Saints aren’t just a quarterback away from being true contenders. But adding Garoppolo would help solidify a need that hasn’t been addressed at all since Brees retired.
After being in salary-cap hell just before the start of the league new year, New Orleans now boasts over $26 million in cap space, which is more than enough to take on Garoppolo’s post-trade contract.
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Doing so would help keep the Saints relevant this season, potentially beyond.
Why Saints didn’t trade for Jimmy Garoppolo
New Orleans is dangerously teetering on the brink of being a few pieces away from playoff contention and needing to fully hit the reset button.
That’s a dangerous time to aggressively trade for a 30-year-old average quarterback with a lengthy injury history.
If the Saints simply wanted to figure things out without dishing off much-needed draft assets, they’d be better off reuniting with last year’s starter, Jameis Winston, or one of the sub-optimal options available in NFL free agency to bridge the gap between now and 2023.
Which is precisely what they did:
Cheaper option without having to dish out draft picks in a trade.