The New Orleans Saints once traded their entire draft for Ricky Williams. Twenty-three years later, they’re shipping a large package of picks to pick up some instant, high-value capital.
The Saints are acquiring the 16th- and 19th-overall picks and a sixth-round selection (No. 194) in this month’s draft in a trade with the Eagles, the teams announced Monday. New Orleans is sending Philadelphia the 18th-overall pick as part of a package that also includes a 2023 first-rounder, a 2024 second-rounder, a 2022 pick from the third round (No. 101) and a seventh-round selection (No. 237) in April’s draft.
To simplify matters: New Orleans now has two 2022 first-round picks (Nos. 16 and 19), while Philadelphia also has two first-round picks (Nos. 15 and 18) this year.
While the sheer amount of picks might make heads spin, the logic is sound with this move. New Orleans adds two immediate first-round picks in exchange for one and a future first-rounder the Saints will hope lands near the back end of the 2023 draft (because, you know, they expect to win).
Philadelphia avoids allocating guaranteed money for three first-round selections in one draft, instead spreading those cap hits over multiple drafts while also recouping additional capital in this draft and future drafts.
The Saints’ 2023 first-round selection heading to the Eagles could end up being spent on or used to move up and select a quarterback if things with Jalen Hurts go south. If not, Philadelphia will again have multiple first-rounders to continue adding talent wherever it desires.
New Orleans, meanwhile, will have draft capital to use to add first-round talent on rookie deals, hoping to reverse at least some of its salary structure by shifting toward becoming a younger team. Adding a first-round selection also allows the Saints more flexibility with their picks, giving them the option to take the best player available over draft need if desired.
Trades are fun — even the ones that require math and info graphics to effectively comprehend — and this one made the lead-up to the 2022 draft a little spicier.
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