The New Orleans Saints have failed to qualify for the postseason in three consecutive years, and it’s clear the team is desperate to make one final run with future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees. In a move that firmly illustrated the urgency the Saints organization is feeling, the team went out and signed veteran running back Adrian Peterson in free-agency, hoping the former Viking can re-establish himself as one of the top runners in the sport after several injury plagued campaigns. It remains to be seen how well the experiment will work, or how successful New Orleans can be in a difficult NFC South, but the team should no doubt be more interesting to watch than they were a year ago.
2016 Record: 7-9
Notable Additions: WR Ted Ginn Jr., RB Adrian Peterson, G Larry Warford, LB Manti Te’o, QB Chase Daniel, LB A.J. Klein
Notable Subtractions: WR Brandin Cooks, S Jairus Byrd, OL Tim Lelito, RB Tim Hightower, DL John Jenks
Notable Rookies: CB Marshon Lattimore, OT Ryan Ramczyk, S Marcus Williams
Analysis: Longtime Saints’ quarterback Drew Brees led the NFL with 5,208 passing yards last season while his 37 touchdown passes finished behind only Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan, and as mentioned above, New Orleans is cognizant that they are running out of time to win with their leader. The addition of Adrian Peterson is a low-risk/potentially high-reward answer at running back for an offense that will severely miss departed wide receiver, Brandin Cooks. The defense will determine just how good the Saints can be. For far too long Brees has had to attempt to win shootouts time and time again. The additions of linebackers Manti Te’o and A.J. Klein should help, especially against the run, and the team is counting on first round pick Marshon Lattimore to bring stability to the secondary.