4 Available Guards The Saints Can (Should) Sign
New Orleans depth chart at guard has Tim Lelito and Senio Kelemete penciled in as the starters, with a slew of undrafted free agents behind the pair on the depth chart.
With the departure of 4-time FIRST TEAM All-Pro guard Jahri Evans, the Black & Gold still need to improve the position.
The Saints did not draft a guard last weekend (though they signed a few undrafted FA guards), but here are 4 veteran free agent guards they can sign. Should they sign all 4? No, but 1 or 2 could pay dividends during the 2016 season.
1. Matt Slauson
While he's likely not a long-term answer at guard, Slauson started every game in 2015 for the Chicago Bears. At 30 years old, he's recognized around the league for his toughness. A recipient of the Bears 2015 Good Guy Award, his release puzzled many in the Windy City. Good for the locker room and good on the O-Line, a bargain deal for Slauson would be ideal for the Saints. Plus, he can play center. If Unger is injured, having a versatile leader who can move to multiple positions on the interior of the offensive line is a plus.
2. Louis Vasquez
His release from the Denver Broncos after the Super Bowl championship wasn't as puzzling as Slauson's from Chicago. Vasquez was a cap casualty after 3 years of starting at right guard in the Mile High City. An All-Pro in 2013, he was more productive under John Fox than Gary Kubiak's zone blocking scheme. He's already visited multiple teams, but not the Saints. Perhaps they should call his agent. New Orleans could benefit from a 29 year old Super Bowl champion, only 3 years removed from an All-Pro honor.
3. Amini Silatolu
He's hasn't performed at the high level of Slauson or Vasquez in his career, but the former Carolina Panthers 2nd round pick drew comparisons to Jahri Evans prior to the 2012 draft. After being named All-Rookie in 2012, Silatolu battled through injuries, starting 25 games the last 3 seasons. If healthy, he's a starting calibur left guard with a strong knowledge of a division rival the Saints face twice a year.
4. Johnnie Troutman
An injury risk, but a talented one. Troutman missed all of his 2012 rookie season (torn pectoral muscle) and the 2015 season (broken right forearm). However, Troutman can play either guard spot, starting games in San Diego at left guard in 2013 during his "redshirt" season, then at right guard in 2014. If he passes a physical and checks the boxes of the medical staff, he's got potential to be a valuable starter or reserve for New Orleans in 2016.