New Orleans Saints: 5 offseason needs in 2020

New Orleans Saints

Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Three consecutive playoff appearances have not resulted in a Super Bowl appearance. What are the next steps for Sean Payton’s talented New Orleans Saints?

Consider how the last three seasons for Sean Payton’s New Orleans Saints have concluded. In each instance, the end came on what proved to be the final play of the game.

In 2017, it was Case Keenum to Stefon Diggs as the Saints were stunned by the Vikings, 29-24, in the NFC divisional round. One year later, it was overtime at the Superdome and the Los Angeles Rams were Super Bowl-bound after rallying from a 13-0 deficit to beat Peyton’s crew, 26-23, in overtime of one of the more controversial postseason games in recent years. Then back in January, it was those pesky Vikings and some late heroics by quarterback Kirk Cousins, Adam Thielen and Kyle Rudolph as the Saints fell at home, once again in overtime, 26-20.

Three straight NFC South titles and a combined 37-11 regular-season record has added up to no Super Bowl appearances. So what can this franchise do better to reach the Big Game for only the second time in franchise annals?

5. Add depth at guard

If the Saints opt to let two-time Pro Bowler Andrus Peat test free agency, his departure would no doubt be felt. He’s been a starter at both guard and tackle but in 2019 was limited to only 10 games. In fact, the five-year pro has yet to play all 16 contests in any of his years in the league.

This past season, Nick Easton opened at left guard for the six games that Peat was unavailable. On the other hand, journeyman guard Patrick Omameh is also a potential unrestricted free agent and the one start he made a year ago for the team was in place of left tackle Terron Armstead.

If there is some shuffling at the position, the franchise may want to add a veteran as well as a young body to ensure this remains one of the best offensive lines in the league.

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