Intriguing QB Named As Possible Fit For New Orleans Saints

NFL Analysis Network

The New Orleans Saints are going to be back on the market for a quarterback during the 2023 off-season. While Jameis Winston is still under contract, it would be hard to imagine that the team doesn’t bring in some competition for him as he was benched this season in favor of Andy Dalton.

Dalton is set to become a free agent again and the Saints could always opt to bring him back. However, that would not inspire much confidence in the team turning things around next season as Dalton went 6-8 and was unable to elevate the team beyond that middling status. 

The only reason the Saints remained in the playoff picture was the ineptitude of the NFC South this season, which the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won with an 8-9 record. Better quarterback play could have easily led New Orleans to a runaway division title.

With their first-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft being owned by the Philadelphia Eagles, the Saints will have to get creative when it comes to upgrading the quarterback position. They could dig deeper into their draft capital and trade for a veteran such as Derek Carr or Aaron Rodgers. But, free agency is likely the more practical approach.

In free agency, there will be some intriguing options. Carr could reach that point if the Las Vegas Raiders are unable to find a trade partner before his contract becomes guaranteed. Jimmy Garoppolo will certainly garner some attention given the options the San Francisco 49ers have at quarterback for 2023. The Greatest of All Time, Tom Brady, is also set to hit free agency.

Any of those options would be upgrades for the Saints, who had a top-10 defense but the bottom third of the league in offense in 2022. Another free agent that could make sense for New Orleans is Baker Mayfield.

The No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft was hung out to dry by the Cleveland Browns during the 2022 offseason as they didn’t trade him in the first cycle of the quarterback carousel. The market dried up by the time Cleveland acquired Deshaun Watson from the Houston Texans and Mayfield landed with the Carolina Panthers.

Things didn’t go well in Carolina as Mayfield was benched twice. He showed signs of turning things around with the Los Angeles Rams after they claimed him, but he also had his struggles playing with an underwhelming supporting cast.

If the Saints are looking to have a quarterback competition in 2023, Mayfield would be an intriguing option. He has shown he can be the leader of a successful team, but the situation has to be a good one. Taking a flier to see if New Orleans is the right situation would make a lot of sense for the franchise.

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