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Saints’ projected depth chart before the start of free agency

Free agency is fast approaching and the New Orleans Saints have some important decisions to make surrounding their roster.

To understand how they make decisions like who to draft in the first round or whether or not to trade a veteran like Marshon Laittmore, the team will need to take a look at who they have under contract for 2024. They also must choose whether to release players in complicated contract situations like Jameis Winston and Michael Thomas.

Before any moves get made this offseaosn, here is how the depth chart currently sits with players that are officially under contract:

Quarterback

Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Position

1st string

2nd string

3rd string

QB

Derek Carr

Jameis Winston

Jake Haener

This position is pretty set at starter, but not behind that. The team has a decision coming up with Jameis Winston, which will dictate how the Saints look at the position in free agency. It’s likely that they won’t want to go into next season with Haener as the lone backup.

Running back

Julio Aguilar/Getty Images
Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Position

1st string

2nd string

3rd string

RB

Alvin Kamara

Jamaal Williams

Kendre Miller

FB

The Saints could go the offseason without addressing the running back spot and feel fine going into 2024. All three backs on the depth chart could contribute. They are currently without a fullback under contract. Kubiak and his staff will bring in someone they feel will compliment their offense, it could or could not mean bringing back Adam Prentice for another season.

Wide receiver

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Position

1st string

2nd string

3rd string

WR

Chris Olave

WR

A.T. Perry

WR

Michael Thomas

There could be a lot of changes coming in the wide receiver room for the Saints, with only two players on contract right now. Rashid Shaheed will be back next season, so you really could include him on this list (it’s just not official yet). Thomas is likely gone. Receiver could and should be addressed in the draft at some point, but the front office will also need to do their due diligence in free agency.

Tight end

Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Position

1st string

2nd string

3rd string

TE

Taysom Hill

Juwan Johnson

Foster Moreau

Just because they have enough players under contract right now, doesn’t mean that the Saints won’t be looking for another tight end. The offense will need better production out of the snaps that Johnson and Moreau had last season. This could be the group for next season, but expect them to bring in some competition as well.

Offensive line

Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

This is obviously a group that will get addressed in the offseason. Penning is a liability at left tackle and they could use more options/depth at guard. Andrus Peat should be a priority to bring back along with drafting a tackle high in the draft.

Defensive line

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

It will be interesting to see how the Saints address their defensive line. They have a couple of promising pieces for next year, but overall they should have been much better than they were last year. They will likely target another pass rusher in the draft, as that was a clear weakness in their defense last season.

Linebacker

Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Position

1st string

2nd string

3rd string

LB

Pete Werner

Monty Rice

LB

Demario Davis

D’Marco Jackson

LB

Nephi Sewell

Anfernee Orji

Davis isn’t getting any younger, but he and Werner are still one of the better duos around the league as things currently stand. Behind them, things aren’t as firm. Sewell and Jackson have had flashes of being able to take that third role. It wouldn’t be shocking for them to look to the draft or to bring in a cheap veteran, though.

Cornerback

Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

Position

1st string

2nd string

3rd string

CB

Marshon Lattimore

Faion Hicks

CB

Paulson Adebo

SLOT

Alontae Taylor

Bringing Isaac Yiadom back should be a priority for the Saints as they figure out the depth at cornerback for next season. There are also continuing questions around the future of Lattimore, but for now he remains the team’s CB1. Paulson Adebo had a breakout season last year that had him looking like an All-Pro at times.

Safety

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

Position

1st string

2nd string

3rd string

S

Tyrann Mathieu

J.T. Gray

S

Marcus Maye

Jordan Howden

The emergence of Howden may make it possible to save some money and part ways with Maye. That would probably be the biggest move made with this group in the offseason, though.

Specialists

Julio Aguilar/Getty Images
Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Position

1st string

2nd string

3rd string

K

Blake Grupe

P

Lou Hedley

LS

Zach Wood

It should be expected that the team will bring in competition for the kicker and punter spots this offseason. Neither Grupe nor Hedley had outstanding rookie seasons that would have them be completely safe on the roster.

Story originally appeared on Saints Wire