New Orleans Saints
I promise, when we look at this Buccaneers rival, it won’t be the same player for all three categories.
The Saints don’t figure to have a ton of flexibility themselves, but have enough to sign their biggest names if they really want to.
Here are the guys who may find themselves on the market when the new league year starts.
Quarterback, Drew Brees
Safety, Kenny Vaccaro
Defensive End, Alex Okafor
Guard, Senio Kelemete
Fullback, John Kuhn
Defensive Tackle, Tony McDaniel
Tight End, Clay Harbor
Cornerback, Sterling Moore
Tight End, John Phillips
Safety, Rafael Bush
Center, Josh LeRibeus
Fullback, Zach Line
Linebacker, Gerald Hodges
Linebacker, Michael Mauti
Defensive End, John Hughes
Defensive End, George Johnson
Linebacker, Jonathan Freeny
Linebacker, Kasim Edebali
Linebacker, Audie Cole
Most Likely to Leave: Safety, Kenny Vaccaro
This may come as a surprise, but the Saints have enough depth in their secondary to absorb the loss of Vaccaro to free-agency.
Rafael Bush figures to return to join Chris Banjo as two more safeties to man the Saints’ defensive backfield.
A second-round pick, or possibly a first, to sure up the position would be a much bolder move for the future than re-signing Vaccaro.
Most Likely to Re-Sign: Quarterback,Drew Brees
I just can’t imagine Brees playing in anything other than a Saints uniform. He’s put too much into the team, into the city, and his identity is too tightly bonded with the city and team.
It’s either Saints or retirement for Brees I think, and he hasn’t said anything about retiring just yet.
Best Target for the Buccaneers: Guard, Senio Kelemete
If the NFL had a sixth-man of the year award, Kelemete might win it. He played in just about every position along the Saints’ offensive line.
When Andrus Peat went down in the Wild Card round, New Orleans had no doubt Kelemete could step in.
However, the talented lineman is 27-years old and if he wants to be a full-time starter he’s going to have to find a team with some interior line gaps to fill.
The Bucs have just that. Rotational guards on the “starting” offensive line is not a good idea. After moving Ali Marpet to center for the 2017 season, the Bucs struggled to get a grip on the inside part of the line.
Signing Kelemete may be the beginning of the end for those issues. Perhaps there’s a young interior lineman they could draft as well to help forge a solid offensive front. Hmmmmm.
"Listen in as the Locked on Bucs podcast reacts to Jason Licht’s comments about the Bucs defense!"
This has been my look at the teams defeated in the NFL’s Divisional Round Playoff games, and which free-agents they may have available, and which ones the Buccaneers may lay their eyes on.
Who do you like, and who don’t you? Give me your thoughts on all of these guys. Thanks for reading!