The New Orleans now find themselves at 5-7 on the season and in the midst of a five-game losing streak after falling to the Dallas Cowboys to open Week 13 Thursday night.
More than anything, the issue for Sean Payton’s squad has been the quarterback position. While Jameis Winston didn’t light the world on fire in seven starts before suffering a season-ending ACL injury, he was a stabilizing force.
Since then, it’s been a combination of Trevor Siemian and Taysom Hill struggling under center for the New Orleans Saints. All of this comes less than a calendar year after all-time great quarterback Drew Brees retired.
Now pretty much out of the NFC Playoff race with a mere five games remaining in the season, it’s time for general manager Mickey Loomis to look at quarterback options for the 2022 campaign. Below, we look at four ideal scenarios for the Saints.
New Orleans Saints trade for Jimmy Garoppolo
This scenario would enable New Orleans to get a stopgap quarterback on the cheap while hoping to contend for a playoff spot over the short-term. Any team acquiring the 30-year-old Jimmy Garoppolo would be on the hook for a mere $25.6 million cap hit. By today’s standards, that’s relatively cheap.
Sure Jimmy GQ isn’t anything to write home about. What we do know is that he can have success within the confines of Sean Payton’s offense and he avoids turnovers. He’s also proven to be a winner. Including a 6-4 mark this season, Garoppolo has posted a career 30-12 record as a starter in the NFL. He could be had for a mid-round pick, enabling the Saints to even exhaust an early-round selection on a long-term option.
New Orleans Saints select Kenny Pickett in 2022 NFL Draft
This would technically be the ideal scenario. That is to say, New Orleans adding someone like Garoppolo to the mix for the short-term while spending a first-round pick on a young signal caller. If so, the 6-foot-3 Pickett would make a ton of sense.
A four-year starter with Pittsburgh, Pickett is in the midst of a tremendous season. He’s shown a tremendous amount of accuracy (68% completion) while tallying north of 4,000 yards with 40 touchdowns and seven interceptions. His accuracy would be an ideal fit for Mr. Payton.
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New Orleans Saints trade for Tua Tagovailoa
Speaking of an ideal fit in New Orleans, we already know that the Saints were high on Tua Tagovailoa heading into the 2020 NFL Draft. Unfortunately, they were not selecting high enough to acquire him short of exhausting a bounty in a trade up.
That might not be the case following the 2021 season. The Miami Dolphins were close to acquiring Deshaun Watson ahead of the November NFL trade deadline. Their brass doesn’t seem to be sold on Tua as a long-term option. What better way for Tua to turn his career around than in the Bayou while working under Payton and quarterbacks coach Ronald Curry? It almost makes too much sense.
New Orleans Saints trade for Russell Wilson
There’s also a scenario in play here that suggests New Orleans looks to pull off a blockbuster trade. Right now, Deshaun Watson is too much of a wildcard given his legal situation off the field. As for Wilson, his Seahawks are in the midst of a disastrous campaign. That comes on the heels of rumors this past off-season surrounding the Super Bowl quarterback wanting out of dodge.
If things continue to spiral out of control in the Pacific Northwest, expect the Saints to put in a call. Sure it would require multiple first-round picks and a couple players. But Wilson in Payton’s offense would be all sorts of sexy. It would also keep the Saints’ window of contention wide open.