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Projected market value for Saints’ top pending free agents

We’re just a few weeks away from the start of free agency, and the New Orleans Saints have a couple of players who could hit the open market — including several starters and some ascending backups hoping for larger roles in 2024.

But could the Saints get priced out of their services? Different outlets have projected market values for some of New Orleans’ pending free agents, so let’s take a look at the numbers from Pro Football FocusSpotrac, and Over The Cap:

WR Michael Thomas

Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images
Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Contract projection (Spotrac): $9.23 million per year

Contract projection (Pro Football Focus): $8 million per year

Remember, Thomas is technically under contract for 2024 but the Saints must choose whether to release or extend him before free agency starts. This is a little lower than the $10 million Thomas received from the Saints in 2023, but it’s decent money for a receiver with so much to prove. Thomas must show his next team he can stay healthy and productive in an offense without Drew Brees throwing to him.

QB Jameis Winston

Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Contract projection (Pro Football Focus): $4 million per year

Contract projection (Spotrac): $2.75 million per year

Winston is in the same boat as Thomas — though the Saints bought some more time to make a decision with a last-minute restructure during the 2023 season. These figures line up with the going rate for veteran, journeyman backup quarterbacks around the NFL.

LT Andrus Peat

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Contract projection (Over The Cap): $6.27 million per year

Contract projection (Pro Football Focus): $4 million per year

This would be a better haul than what most offensive linemen find at Peat’s age; most left tackles and left guards over 30 are having to sign for one-year deals at $3 million to $3.5 million, but the former Pro Bowler could find more after holding up well in a position switch last season.

CB Isaac Yiadom

Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images
Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Contract projection (Over The Cap): $4.03 million per year

That could be a lot to pay for a team’s fourth cornerback, but the Saints are in a unique position with a possible Marshon Lattimore trade on the horizon. They’ll need to make a real effort to re-sign Yiadom after he played so well last season coming in off the bench.

DT Malcolm Roach

Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images
Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images

Contract projection (Over The Cap): $4.93 million per year

This falls in below the three-year, $19.5 million contract that Shy Tuttle earned with the Carolina Panthers last offseason (averaging at $6.5 million per year), but it still may be more than the Saints can pay their fourth defensive tackle. Roach should cash in after putting career-high numbers in 2023, despite a late-season injury.

LB Zack Baun

Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Contract projection (Over The Cap): $4.22 million per year

Baun’s skills on special teams will appeal to many teams, but he’ll have stronger value to defenses that will let him rush the quarterback. That’s something he’s only been able to do recently in New Orleans, and on a part-time basis.

Story originally appeared on Saints Wire