The Saints traded their starting quarterback during the 2018 trade deadline, and it was a surprising decision considering what they so desperately needed at that position. The team’s front office made sure to show them just how little they were willing to move for such an important player by turning away all three teams who offered draft picks for Drew Brees.
The New Orleans Saints were in a difficult situation heading into the NFL trade deadline. They were 5-2 and had recently defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the reigning Super Bowl champions. However, they had recently lost Jameis Winston, their starting quarterback.
Despite having a tight grip on a Wild Card place in the NFC, the Saints had a difficult road ahead. Trevor Siemian and Taysom Hill were their quarterback choices, neither of whom could be expected to lead a club to the playoffs.
The Saints attempted to trade for a new starting quarterback but were unsuccessful.
Winston wasn’t asked to do much by Sean Payton and the Saints, for what it’s worth. Before his ACL injury, he was hardly attempting more than 20 passes per week, and his yards per game average was down to 167.1. Winston performed well in the middle (league-leading 8.7 percent TD rate). The Saints’ offense, on the other hand, was built on the run.
Many believed the Saints would be OK going forward with a mix of Siemian and Hill at quarterback. This was not the case, in retrospect. According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the Saints inquired about Teddy Bridgewater’s availability with the Denver Broncos.
Bridgewater started and won five games for the New Orleans Saints in 2019, earning a large contract from the Carolina Panthers the following summer. Bridgewater often thanks Payton and the Saints for helping him resurrect his career after a string of terrible luck with injuries early in his NFL career.
Bridgewater was unexpectedly uninterested in being traded by the Broncos.
Teddy Bridgewater | Getty Images/Richard Rodriguez
Despite their 3-0 start to the season, the Broncos were solidly in the “selling” camp as the trade deadline approached. They parted ways with longstanding defensive end Von Miller in exchange for two draft selections and a rookie cornerback with the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for an additional Day 3 pick.
Even at 4-4, the Broncos were seen as a club on the verge of falling out of the AFC playoff picture. Denver seemed to be in need of a rebuilding phase as the year progressed.
When it came to rebuilding, though, the Broncos seemed to have one foot in and one foot out. They “never contemplated” trading Bridgewater, according to Pelissero. Given the high value that clubs can acquire for starting quarterbacks these days, this is a shocking finding. Due of their desperation, the Broncos may have sought numerous Day 2 selections from the Saints.
Fast forward to Week 9, and the Broncos are riding high following a rout of the Dallas Cowboys. Bridgewater had a passing yardage of 249 yards and a touchdown. After all, Denver may have been correct in holding on to him.
What does this portend for the Saints in the future?
After the deadline, the Saints started to suffer the repercussions of inconsistent QB performance. They dropped to 5-3 on the season after losing a winnable game to the Atlanta Falcons in Week 9.
By any sense of the imagination, Siemian wasn’t horrible (249 passing yards and two touchdowns). The Saints, on the other hand, were visibly lacking in offensive firepower. New Orleans couldn’t keep up with Matt Ryan’s 300-yard passing game.
While the Saints will be forced to complete 2021 with Siemian and Hill at quarterback, it’s interesting to speculate about their summer intentions. Winston’s return would be dangerous after a damaged ACL, and they don’t have a substitute on the roster. The Saints may now turn to the draft to find their long-awaited successor for Drew Brees.
Pro Football Reference provided all of the information.
Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys were considering a massive deadline day trade that would have completely changed the course of their 2021 season.