When the Saints retained Chris Banjo at 2 years, $2.6 million and Shiloh Keo in the last 48 hours, it signaled they were serious about special teams. Now? They’re practically screaming it from the rooftops. On the first day of free agency, the Saints landed two Panther players that have excelled on special teams over the last several years. Kick returner Ted Ginn and linebacker A. J. Klein are the first free agents the Saints have landed from other teams.
Wide Receiver Ted Ginn Junior is signing with the New Orleans Saints per sources
— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) March 9, 2017
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 9, 2017
And while both players can make a big impact for the Saints on special teams, they can also help in other areas.
You’ll remember Ginn as Cam Newton’s primary deep threat that has torched the Saints for years, but also dropped gimme touchdowns in horrific fashion. With Brandin Cooks apparently on the way out, adding Ginn will be critical in helping stretch the field.
Klein is ready to become a starting linebacker now that he’s out of Luke Kuechly’s shadow. He’ll compete with Stephone Anthony and Craig Robertson as the starting middle linebacker for the Saints. Right now I’d say he’s the favorite, with Robertson moving back to weakside. This also allows Nate Stupar to focus on what he does best, special teams. If Klein is beat out by Anthony, though, he still has tremendous value on special teams.
I’m really liking both pickups, especially when you consider how bad the Saints return game has been. Ginn will help it tremendously.