May 23, 2024

The New Orleans Saints are poised to address their pass rush deficiencies this offseason, particularly in light of expected cap constraints. To bolster their defensive line, they may turn to options such as the NFL Draft or veteran free agents.

Ranked 28th in the league last season with just 34 sacks, the Saints’ defense lacked the desired intensity on their defensive line, indicating a pressing need for improvement. ESPN’s Matt Bowen suggests that veteran edge rusher Za’Darius Smith would be an ideal addition for New Orleans, given his proven track record and experience.

Packers placing OLB Za'Darius Smith on IR due to back issue | AP News

Considering the Saints’ financial constraints, a potential deal with Smith might be short-term, likely for one year, aligning with Dennis Allen’s defensive scheme. Smith’s versatility in pass rush tactics, whether from the edge or inside as a stand-up defensive tackle, would be a valuable asset for the team. With 60 career sacks, including 5½ in the 2023 season with the Browns, Smith could significantly bolster New Orleans’ pass rush.

If Smith joins the Saints, he would likely assume a prominent role in the defense, possibly starting ahead of Cameron Jordan, who faced challenges due to injuries and declining performance last season. Partnering with Smith would provide a balanced veteran duo, allowing both players to remain fresh throughout games, while Carl Granderson could start on the opposite side.

Reflecting on Smith’s tenure with the Browns, A to Z Sports Cleveland’s Brandon Little highlights his impact as a pass rusher, despite a modest sack count. Smith’s contributions extended beyond sacks, demonstrating proficiency in run defense and generating significant pressure on quarterbacks. Moreover, Smith’s resilience and positive locker room presence further enhance his appeal as a free agent target.

Overall, Smith’s skill set aligns well with the defensive needs of the Saints, particularly in bolstering their pass rush capabilities. His potential addition to the roster could yield significant improvements for the team in the upcoming season.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *