New Orleans Saints: Setting the price for an A.J. Green trade

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 30: A.J. Green #18 of the Cincinnati Bengals celebrates beating the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on September 30, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 30: A.J. Green #18 of the Cincinnati Bengals celebrates beating the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on September 30, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images) /

The biggest name in the NFL trade rumors as the trade deadline approaches is A.J. Green and the New Orleans Saints should be interested at the right price.

The New Orleans Saints have widely exceeded expectations with Drew Brees out of the starting lineup and have jumped out to a hot 5-1 start. With the team’s success without its cornerstone player, some would think that the Saints don’t need to add anything at the NFL Trade Deadline.

That is true, in a sense. The Saints are undoubtedly Super Bowl contenders and could make it to the biggest game of the year without making any additions at the deadline.

Trades are not as frequent in the NFL as other leagues and the Saints do not need to make some big splash to bolster their roster. However, it would not hurt the team to do so, and getting an improvement for the right price is never a bad idea.

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If there is one area that the Saints can improve in it is the wide receiving corps. The receiving corps has gotten a pass thus far this year because of the Brees injury and the fact that Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara have kept the passing game alive.

Tight end Jared Cook has been better the last two weeks as well. Aside from that, though, the Saints are fairly weak at receiver.

Tedd Ginn and Tre’Quan Smith have 281 combined receiving yards in six games, which is 46.3 yards per game split between two receivers. 101 of Ginn’s 206 yards came in Week 1.

You definitely could make the case that the numbers are lower because of Bridgewater and that definitely does have an impact. However, we have known since last year that the receiving corps is thin and with Alvin Kamara currently dealing with a knee injury, that could be exposed.

That makes trading for a wide receiver an option for the New Orleans Saints and there is no receiver on the market bigger than A.J. Green. Green is undoubtedly going to be traded from the 0-6 Cincinnati Bengals with the only questions being what is the price and where does he go.

The Saints are an option and they definitely are a team that the Bengals are going to take phone calls from. So what is the price? To determine that, we have to breakdown Green’s status.

If you are a casual football fan that hasn’t kept up this year then you would probably think A.J. Green is worth a first-round pick. He has been one of the best receivers of this decade and, for all intents and purposes, has been an elite receiver.

The biggest problem with Green is his health. He still has not played this year, albeit he will likely be back by the time Brees is back in Week 10. Last year he also only played nine games, but was pretty good in those nine games, finishing with 694 receiving yards and six touchdowns.

Green was on pace for over 1,200 receiving yards and 10 receiving touchdowns. It was only the second year of his career with under 1,000 receiving yards, which was also cut short due to injury. If he plays 16 games, he has been a lock for 1,000 receiving yards.

But still, you are only getting a half-season worth of Green that we have not even seen on the field yet. There is no long-term commitment as well, as his contract expires after this season, which does make it less of a risk but undercuts his value at the same time.

With all that coming into consideration, I would hope that the New Orleans Saints would set their price at a third-round and seventh-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Jarvis Landry was acquired by the Cleveland Browns for a fourth and seventh-round pick. Granted, Landry was not coming off of an injury, but he is not the receiver that A.J. Green is when he in on the field.

Green has proven still that when he is on the field he is a massive difference-maker and the impact he can have on this offense alongside Michael Thomas with Drew Brees under center is unmeasurable.

If Green comes back and is only 80 percent of himself then the Saints will still have a vastly over-qualified second receiver and will go from having a weak receiving corps to one of the best in the NFL.

That third-round pick can feel a bit pricey and perhaps the Bengals don’t want to wait an entire extra year for their return, but the Saints shouldn’t trade this year’s third without having a second. The pick is not pricey for a team that has not been hesitant in trading picks and often finds itself in the late 20s.

Next. Why the Saints will be the first seed in the NFC. dark

The impact that A.J. Green could have on the 2019 New Orleans Saints in their path to the Super Bowl is much greater than a third-round pick’s impact two drafts from now.