The new NFL league year begins March 14th and that's when free agency officially begins and teams can begin wheeling and dealing.

For the New Orleans Saints, they don't have a ton of cap room to work with but that can be adjusted with restructuring contracts, cutting players, or trades which the team will do.

Leading up to the free agency frenzy we'll take a look division by division at every team's free agents and which would best fit with the Saints.

Today we're getting into the NFC West:

Seattle Seahawks:

Unrestricted free agents

  • CB Justin Coleman
  • CB Neiko Thorpe
  • DE Dion Jordan
  • DT Shamar Stephen
  • DT Malik McDowell
  • FS Earl Thomas
  • K Sebastian Janikwoski
  • LB K.J. Wright
  • LB Mychal Kendricks
  • OG J.R. Sweezy
  • OG D.J. Fluker
  • QB Brett Hundley
  • RB Mike Davis
  • SS Maurice Alexander

The New Orleans Saints have three strong cornerbacks with Marshon Lattimore, Eli Apple, and Patrick Robinson but as we've talked about that they need some depth. With the Seahawks, the guy I'm looking at is Justin Coleman. He's not a player that's going to turn heads but he's a solid, experienced nickel corner who is only 25 years old who you're hoping would continue to develop with the Saints. Since joining Seattle in 2017 h, in fact, has continued to grow as a player where he's had two strong seasons. Over the last two seasons, he's played in all 28 games, combined three interceptions, 19 passes defended, and 90 tackles.

San Francisco 49ers:

Unrestricted free agents

  • DT Earl Option
  • DT Julian Taylor
  • FS Jimmie Ward
  • FS Antone Exum
  • LB Mark Nzeocha
  • LS Kyle Nelson
  • P Bradley Pinion
  • RB Alfred Morris
  • SS Tyvis Powell
  • WR Pierre Garcon

There aren't a ton of appealing options from the SF 49ers but the one that stands out to me would be wide receiver Pierre Garcon. He's a veteran who could provide leadership within that position group that doesn't have a ton of NFL experience with Tre'Quan Smith, Keith Kirkwood, and Austin Carr among others. Garcon is past his prime but he's not ancient by any stretch, he'll be 33 years old when the season begins but one thing to caution is he has not been able to stay healthy over the past two seasons. Over the two years he was with San Fran he played in just 16 games, recorded one touchdown, less than 800 yards, and under 70 catches. He was supposed to be the number one receiver among a bunch of young guys with the 49ers but he wasn't able to stay healthy enough to do that. If he can come in and be a veteran presence as the 3rd or 4th receiving option that might be helpful.

Los Angeles Rams:

Unrestricted free agents

  • CB Sam Shields
  • DT Ndamukong Suh
  • DT Dominique Easley
  • DT Ethan Westbrooks
  • FS LaMarcus Joyner
  • LB Ramik Wilson
  • LB Bryce Hager
  • LB Matt Longacre
  • OC J.J. Dielman
  • OG Rodger Saffold
  • QB Sean Mannion
  • RB C.J. Anderson
  • TE Henry Krieger-Coble

I would love to be able to say that the Saints are able to make a run at safety LaMarcus Joyner but the way the safety market is shaping out, hi Landon Collins, I don't think the Saints are going to be in that running. One guy that would make more sense would be a defensive back, Sam Shields. Shields is a veteran guy with a ton of big game NFL experience with his time in Green Bay and with the run, the Rams made last year. He's 31 years old and at this point, in his career, he's a terrific depth piece to have. The option to transition to safety if you want some depth there as well might even be on the table, we've seen older corners be able to make that change in the past.

Arizona Cardinals:

Unrestricted free agents

  • DE Benson Mayowa
  • DE Markus Golden
  • DE Zach Moore
  • DT Rodney Gunter
  • FB Derrick Coleman
  • FS Tre Boston
  • K Phil Dawson
  • LB Deone Bucannon
  • LB Gerald Hodges
  • OG Mike Iupati
  • OG Oday Aboushi
  • OT Joe Barksdale
  • TE John Phillips
  • WR J.J. Nelson

The sexy names aren't there from the Cardinals, not that the Saints can afford the sexiest names at this point, but there are a couple of names that stand out and could be helpful. I know, I said I would give you one per team but since it's the final team here in the NFC West I'm going to give you two! You're welcome.

First, I'd look at a guy like Rodney Gunter who's 6'5 305lbs at the defensive tackle position, yes a position that the team needs without Sheldon Rankins. Gunter is only 27 years old and had his best season as a pro last year starting 10 of 16 games, a pass defended, two forced fumbles, a career high in sacks and tackles with 4.5 and 44. Second, free safety Tre Boston would be another guy I would look at to help your depth at defensive back and possibly push Marcus Williams. He's played in no less than 14 games over the last three seasons and has 11 career interceptions, 27 passes defended and has recorded 262 tackles. In addition, he's about to turn 27 and about to enter his prime this could be an excellent signing and much more affordable than the other big name safeties.

 

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