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Four Saints Players That Could Be Traded Before Week One

The Saints are reportedly fielding trade calls from opposing General Managers around the NFL. With roster cuts looming, the team’s in a prime position to capitalize on their roster depth and trade some players for added value.

The national media seems to think that the New Orleans Saints are an average team at best. However, the NFL seems to think differently based on the latest reports. Late on Thursday, a report from Nick Underhill of NewOrleans.Football has the Saints fielding trade offers from other teams around the NFL.

Saints have been busy this week fielding trade calls. Teams see how deep they are at many positions and have been making calls to see who is available. — Nick Underhill (@nick_underhill) August 25, 2022

New Orleans is a team with a lot of depth at a lot of desirable positions. Opposing NFL teams are seeing that as they gear up for the long NFL season ahead. With roster decisions to be made in the coming week — the NFL’s 53-man roster deadline is August 30 — the Saints could be in a prime position to capitalize on their roster depth and make some trades. Which players could the team be discussing with opposing General Managers?

Four Saints Players That Could Be Traded Before NFL Week One

Deontae Harty, Wide Receiver

I can hear the rage now; “Please god no, please don’t trade any wide receivers, after last year, watching the sorry state of the WR room every week was depressing.” I understand Saints fans being scarred by that. However, this year’s room is far different. The Saints have gone from possible the thinnest and worst wide receiver rooms in the league to possibly one of the deepest and best.

Harty could be available at the right price. It’s been reported again by Nick Underhill that the Saints and Harty are far apart in contract negotiations and with Harty going into the last year of his contract, this could be trade the Saints are willing to think about.

The Saints have seen promise this preseason in the return game from Kirk Merritt, who they seem to want to find a roster spot for. He started camp as a wide receiver and has now moved to the running back position. Fellow wideout Marquez Callaway has shown previous skills in the return game and Tony Jones Jr has even shown ability in this area this offseason as well. Are any of these players going to be an All-Pro returner? It seems unlikely at this stage but they could be good enough to make an impact at the very least.

The Saints likely saw this contract standoff coming. One of the Saint undrafted free agents was Rashid Shaheed, who finished his college career as the best return man in the FCS. The team likely hoped that Shaheed would show enough in camp to allow for Harty could be moved if the contract talks didn’t go well. Unfortunately, Shaheed has been injured all of Training Camp so far. Many other undrafted free agents would have been waived with an injury settlement by now, but the Saints have kept him around, you have to think there could a be a reason for that.

Possible trade compensation:

2023 fourth-round pick or a later-round pick and a player of need(RB or LB)

Bradley Roby, Cornerback

Again, this is a far cry from last offseason, where at one point it looked like Ken Crawley could start opposite Marshon Lattimore at cornerback. Now, the Saints have one of the deepest cornerback rooms in the league.

With Lattimore and second-year stud, Paulson Adebo expected to start outside and C.J. Gardner-Johnson manning the slot, that leaves Roby on the outside looking in for starting snaps. The Saints also spent a second-round pick on Alontae Taylor who has also impressed at outside corner this summer.

This could cause opposing teams to call and check on the availability of Bradley Roby. Roby, by anyone’s mark, should be a starting cornerback in the league. He has had one of the best camps of any of the Saints’ defensive backs, recording a team-leading six interceptions throughout camp.

Does this mean the Saints would or should trade Roby? In short, no. The Saints like having Roby as the primary backup at the outside corner position and added depth in the slot. If an injury does come, they see very little drop off in their corner play, I also expect to see Roby get significant snaps in the dime package this year. This doesn’t stop teams from calling though.

Possible trade compensation:

Roby was traded to the team last year for a third and sixth. He’s one year older but, has a lower cap hit this year so the Saints could see a similar return. A 2023 third-round pick or a later-round pick and a depth player (RB or LB)

Nick Vannett, Tight End

It’s been well documented that Nick Vannett seems to be on the roster bubble. I did not have him making the 53-man roster in my projection.

On paper the Saints seem fairly thin at the tight end position, so why would they want to trade a starter from last season? Ultimately, they might not but I could see a scenario where they do. Trautman has had his best offseason to date, Taysom Hill has looked good when he’s been on the field and Juwan Johnson looks like he will be a breakout player this year.

Vannett has proven to be a good blocking tight end with upside as a dependable but unflashy pass catcher. This can be quite valuable around the league, as the tight end position can be one of the hardest positions for college players to learn coming out of college to the NFL level. A reliable veteran could have some value.

Possible trade compensation:

Saints receive Myles Gaskin

Dolphins receive Nick Vannett and a conditional sixth-round pick.

Zack Baun, Linebacker

Now, I’m not suggesting teams are calling for Zack Baun because they think the tape he’s put out at linebacker is worth trading for. No, I’m saying that teams might call for Baun so they can move him back to the position he played in college (Edge Rusher). He played very well as an edge rusher during his college career. If a team that plays more 3-4 or values speed in their Edge Rushers more than size and bulk then Baun fits well.

From the New Orleans side, they might feel it’s time to cut their losses on the linebacker project. They can replace his special teams snaps with players already on the roster in Andrew Dowell and Nephi Sewell.

Possible trade compensation:

2023 sixth-round pick. Possibly a player-for-player swap for another depth player.

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