Saints Lose Two More Defenders to Free Agency
The Saints’ defense has been the strength of the team for several years now, especially over the last two seasons. The defensive line saw a few steps back from its usual performance as they found themselves getting gashed by bigger backs. The run game took a bigger hit this free agency as the Saints lost two key veteran defensive tackles to NFC South rivals. Seven-year veteran David Oneyomata signed a deal with the Atlanta Falcons while Shy Tuttle took a three-year deal with Carolina.
Well, the losses continue to add up for the Saints’ defense as news just broke earlier about the departure of two more veteran defenders. Linebacker Kaden Ellis was originally drafted by the Saints in 2019 as a seventh-rounder but came on this year as he filled in due to injuries. He racked up 7 sacks and 78 tackles in just 11 starts. This made him a hot target in the free-agent market.
This is a huge blow to the Saints as it looked like they had found themselves a real gem to pair with veteran linebacker Demario Davis. Ellis had an outstanding season and is being rewarded by Atlanta with a $21.5 million contract.
Shortly after Ellis, news broke that former first-round pick Marcus Davenport was heading to the Minnesota Vikings. The former 14th overall pick in the 2018 draft didn’t exactly live up to the expectations Who Dat nation had for him. It wasn’t because he couldn’t get the job done, Davenport has been plagued by injuries for the majority of his career. His most productive season was in 2021 when he recorded nine sacks. Over his five seasons in the league, he has recorded 21.5 sacks.
Even though Davenport has exactly lived up to expectations, the Vikings were impressed enough to give a deal that they felt was worth his talents. Davenport inked a one-year $13 million contract.
The Saints have lost a lot of depth on the defensive side of the ball today, this does allow for a little more breathing room for the salary cap and for the Saints to space out Derek Carr’s contract. As I did before, I just want to wish Davenport and Ellis the best of luck in the next phase of their careers.