3 New Orleans Saints who could be traded not named Marshon Lattimore

Considering their salary cap situation, Marshon Lattimore isn't the only New Orleans Saints player who may get traded this offseason.

New Orleans Saints v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
New Orleans Saints v Tampa Bay Buccaneers / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages

The New Orleans Saints have kicked the proverbial salary cap can down the road for many years now, and it’s finally beginning to catch up with them.

After pushing money into the future by signing bonuses in contracts for years to continue building the roster and remain competitive, the Saints front office is in a position where they’ve needed to approach several players about restructuring their deals or cutting them outright, and more difficult roster decisions lie ahead.

The rise in salary ahead of 2024 has benefitted New Orleans and put them in a better financial position for this upcoming season. But they project to be roughly $70 million over the cap in 2025, meaning the Saints have more work to do to fix their payroll.

Four-time Pro Bowl cornerback Marshon Lattimore, who the Saints signed to a five-year, $97.6 million contract in 2021, is a candidate to get traded this offseason as a result, and “several teams” reportedly feel he’s available, per Jeremy Fowler and Dan Graziano of ESPN.

However, Lattimore isn’t the only player the team could potentially look to move this offseason, especially given the circumstances. These three players could be playing elsewhere sooner rather than later.

3. Paulson Adebo, CB

Entering the final year of his rookie deal, 2021 third-round pick Paulson Adebo has been a critical part of their secondary and near every-down contributor for the Saints from the moment he was drafted, but he may have played himself out of their price range.

Adebo logged 76 combined tackles, 18 pass deflections, four interceptions, two forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries in 2023, earning an 80.5 PFF grade in coverage.

After establishing himself as an ascending young cornerback, Adebo should receive a big payday in his next contract, which could force New Orleans to explore the possibility of trading him and recouping assets rather than signing him to a lucrative long-term extension.

Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report labeled Adebo as the “dream offseason trade scenario” for the Jacksonville Jaguars, netting the Saints what would likely be a valuable draft pick while saving them from having to shell out more money, albeit they’d be losing a young and talented player at one of the more premium positions in the league.

Knox mentions Adebo’s connection to Jaguars defensive coordinator Ryan Nielson, who was the co-defensive coordinator for the Saints in 2022, as a reason why Jacksonville would be such an ideal landing spot if New Orleans decides to move on from him for the sake of their financial flexibility.

2. Taysom Hill, QB/TE

Who remembers when the Saints signed Swiss army knife Taysom Hill to a wacky four-year contract worth anywhere from $40 million to $95 million, depending on the position he plays?

The additional incentives were contingent on whether Hill would become the starting quarterback for the Saints, which hasn’t happened yet. Instead, he’s embraced his utility role as a player whom New Orleans is not afraid to utilize and line up across the formation in various ways.

Hill saw his receiving usage increase drastically in 2023, nearly doubling his route participation and setting career-highs in targets (40), receptions (33), and yards (291), adding 81 carries for 401 yards and four touchdowns through the ground. He also completed six of his 11 pass attempts for 83 yards and an additional score.

While the Saints have found creative ways to make Hill an integral part of their offense as a receiver, chain mover, and red zone/short-yardage threat, his $10 million annual salary does not align with how he is perceived on the depth chart. He’s not the starting tight end or quarterback on the roster, so why keep such an expensive part-time player on the roster?

Sean Payton, who was the head coach of the Saints when the team signed Hill to the massive extension, is now with the Denver Broncos and has always been infatuated with the versatility of the former college quarterback. Is a reunion on the table? 

Mike Klis of 9News suggests that could be a possibility after the Broncos hired former Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael to Payton’s staff, another coach who played a pivotal role in Hill’s unique usage.

1. Alvin Kamara, RB

Paying a high-end running back is considered a luxury in the NFL today, and the Saints are certainly not in a position to be spending lavishly at a position that the market does not value, making five-time Pro Bowler Alvin Kamara potentially expendable this offseason.

Kamara is under contract for the next two seasons, carrying cap hits of $18.7 million in 2024 and a whopping $29 million in 2025. The Saints have a potential out this offseason by cutting him, creating $18.2 million in dead cap. Taking such a big cap hit to release a player who has been the engine of the offense for seven seasons feels like malpractice, so trading him is the next best thing.

While the return for Kamara would probably be minimal considering his age, salary, injury concerns, and declining production, it’d help the Saints in the long run. However, New Orleans needs to time the move correctly to reap the financial benefits of trading their star running back, per John Sigler of the Saints Wire.

Recording at least 1,100 scrimmage yards every year since entering the league in 2017, trading a fan-favorite like Kamara may not sit right with the fan base, but it’s something that the Saints need to consider.