While the Who Dat Nation awaits news on highly-coveted free agent Gerald McCoy, the Saints continue to shop around follow the first day of OTAs. The Saints looked at trading for Robert Quinn from the Dolphins and investigated the recovery of former Lion now Seahawk Ziggy Ansah earlier in the offseason. Despite not feeling comfortable enough to pull the trigger on either of those moves due to Quinn’s cap situation and Ansah’s lengthy recovery, the Saints found a veteran Defensive End to bring in anyway. Sean Fazende of FOX 8 announced the signing of former Panthers DE Wes Horton and, in a corresponding move, released LB Darrell Williams from the 90-man roster.
Horton has been a rotational staple in Carolina for five of his six seasons. He’s lost time due to a wrist injury as well as a PED suspension at the end of 2015. In 2017 he looked to be back on the mend grabbing 5.5 sacks and forcing 3 fumbles in a rotational role playing in all 16 games. He was expected to have an expanded role in 2018 and while he did play in all 16 games for the second season in a row with 8 starts, he only compiled 1.5 sacks, 2 tackles for a loss, and a pair of QB hits.
Horton should not be seen as a potential starter or someone that is being brought in to do anything more than compete. He will add himself into the mix for the rotational DE role in competition with UDFAs Carl Granderson, Corbin Kaufusi, and Porter Gustin as well as incumbent EDGE rotator Trey Hendrickson.
Something of note for Horton’s best year in 2017; he played mostly on the right side of the defensive line that season. In 2018, he played mostly on the left where he was less productive. His productivity from the right defensive side bodes well for his chances in New Orleans as that’s where he would play rotating with Marcus Davenport.
In addition, the Saints also brought in Safety and Pro Bowl Special Teamer Brynden Trawick for a visit who excels in kick and punt return coverage.
While the Who Dat Nation, including myself, is transfixed with the Gerald McCoy storyline, the Saints are continuing to do their work in staying multi-dimensional and never settling for what they have. Remember, this is the same team that went out and signed Dez Bryant after dropping 30 or more points vs. 6 of their first 8 opponents. Then, after losing Bryant the next day, they went on to drop another 51 the very next game. The Saints never settle and that’s how they plan to stay atop the NFL.
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