This is one of those situations where the initial title and statement itself looks a little alarming. Surely not right, there’s no way the Saints trade Marshon Lattimore. Why’s this bozo making such a wild suggestion? Two things. 1. Bozo is a great word. I’m bringing that back. and 2. The Saints need to trade Marshon Lattimore. Here’s why:
Clear the Decks
The Saints are in cap hell. Nobody is currently in a worse situation. You can read all about that in a break down I wrote here. With the league likely to reduce the cap budget for the upcoming 2021 season, the Saints $100,000,000 cap problem becomes more like a $120,000,000 cap problem.
They need to somehow clear one hundred and twenty odd million dollars from their salary cap. Hey guy, that’s a lot of money. And that means… someone’s getting traded.
As we learned in my offseason breakdown, the Saints can restructure every single contract worth restructuring, and still won’t be close to being within the cap. Drew Brees retiring helped a little, but he will currently still account for $22,000,000 against the Saints cap. An issue that will clear in time for 2022.
So drastic measures need to be taken. But why specifically Marshon Lattimore?
Trade and Replace. Next Man Up.
The Saints will end up having to trade a superstar. They can’t trade Alvin Kamara because he’s the best player on the team. They also can’t trade Michael Thomas because it won’t have any positive impact on the cap. Trading MT just means the Saints will gain $20,000,000 in dead cap.
However, trading Marshon Lattimore will save the Saints nearly $11,000,000 in 2021. Which is also the last year of his contract. They aren’t going to be able to agree a new deal with him, because of the cap malfunction, so it makes total sense to get a good haul for him now, and then find his replacement in the draft. Rather than try to hold onto him amidst serious salary cap problems, and then potentially lose him as a free agent at the end of the 2021 season.
Trading a superstar never seems like a good idea, but when you dive into the reasons behind it, it makes total sense to do it now.
Can they get a first round pick for him? I’d say yes. The Saints are also not in a position to bring in an elite QB, again due to cap, so will be running with Taysom Hill or Jameis Winston this upcoming year. It feels to me like somewhat of a semi rebuild year. So get yourself a rookie corner you’re high on, at the back end of the first round, and give him a year to develop.
Where Would Lattimore Land?
The Saints are going to be looking for draft capital in exchange for Lattimore. Player trades won’t work for them. So here’s a couple of options I like.
San Francicso 49ers
This is PERFECT. Elite defence. Richard Sherman on the move. If you’re the 49ers, and you go out and trade your first round pick, which is currently number 12 in the draft, in exchange for Marshon Lattimore, show me a 49ers fan who’s turning that down.
All the mock drafts point towards the Niners taking a corner with the pick anyway, they believe they’re a win now team, so why take a rookie, when you can exchange the pick for somebody of Marshon Lattimore’s stature.
If I’m the Niners. I’m making the call. Ring Ring. Sign it over.
The Jags can still go and get Trevor Lawrence with the number one pick, but then trade the 25th pick, which they got from the Rams in exchange for Jalen Ramsey, over to the Saints for Marshon.
That would essentially mean they got a first round pick and Marshon Lattimore for Jalen Ramsey. That’s a GOOD trade.
So many possibilities.