1. Vonn Bell
The Saints have a ton of key free agents, but the one guy they can’t afford to lose is safety Vonn Bell. Since entering the league in 2016, Bell has become a steady presence in the Saints’ secondary, racking up tackles at a strong clip.
Bell has recorded 87, 83, 88, and 89 tackles over the past four years, along with recording at least one sack every season and forcing at least two fumbles three times. 2019 was Bell’s best season yet as he put up that production in 13 games, missing three due to injury.
Bell has also become one of the unquestioned leaders on the Saints’ defense, and leadership is often an undervalued quality in the NFL. If you look hard enough you can find players who will record statistics, but replacing a true leader is next to impossible.
The free-agent market doesn’t have a ton of top safeties on it so the Saints will have to pay up to retain Bell. New Orleans doesn’t have a ton of cap flexibility right now, but their front office has demonstrated the ability to make the room for a guy they want.
Bell fits that definition to a T, and it is extremely important for New Orleans to find a way to ensure he spends the next few years patrolling their defensive backfield. The Saints are a smart organization and are well aware of this fact, so expect them to make a big push to retain Bell in free agency.