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Why Saints must make resigning Trey Hendrickson a top priority:


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Why Saints must make resigning Trey Hendrickson a top priority:

 

 

By now most Saints fans have resided to the fact that the Saints simply cannot afford to keep breakout pass rusher Trey Hendrickson on the team moving forward… but is that actually a fact? As I’ve laid out in another topic, the Saints can create upwards of around 30 million in cap space this offseason with certain moves and with the genius that is cap scientist Kia Harley and the way he structures contracts nothing is impossible. As I’ve always said, NFL teams never lose players that they absolutely do not want to lose so the question is does Trey Hendrickson fall into that category for the Saints?

 

Here’s why he should…

 

#1. Trey Hendrickson was the BEST pass rusher in the NFL this season by far!

To often people go straight to the sack numbers and whom ever has the highest they say, there he is… that’s the NFL’s best pass rusher but the truth is so much more deeper than that. While Hendrickson's sack totals were top 3 in the NFL, let’s look a little deeper.

 

So Hendrickson ended the season with 13.5 sacks second in the NFL behind only the Steelers TJ Watt and tied with likely 3 time defensive MVP Rams Aaron Donald. So let’s compare Hendrickson to those two guys…

 

In 2020 TJ Watt had a total of 452 pass rush attempts with 64 total pressures and a pressure rate of 17.9% with 15 sacks.

 

Aaron Donald had 606 pass rush attempts with 51 total pressures and a pressure rate of 12.8% and 13.5 sacks.

 

Trey Hendrickson in 2020 had a total of 348 pass rush attempts and a pressure rate of 19.6% and 13.5 sacks.

 

That puts Hendrickson’s stats in line with two of the top defensive players in the NFL at one of the most desired and valued skills in the NFL while having 258 less rush attempts than Donald and 104 rush attempts less than Watt. For further comparison, former #1 overall pick and top NFL pass rusher Myles Garrett had 41 pressures for a pass rush rate of 12.4% and 12 sacks. So explain to me how Hendrickson wasn’t the NFL's best pass rusher in 2020.

 

I’ll wait…

 

 

 

#2. Trey Hendrickson is a home grown talent, why let someone else reap the rewards… and please don’t mention Marcus Davenport.

The Saints drafted Hendrickson with the 104th pick in the 3rd round in our famed 2017 draft class. He was viewed then as a top small school edge rusher with potential and a non stop motor as well as a high character guy and team leader. The biggest knock on Hendrickson at the time was a concern over his arm length and ability to separate in the NFL. He had the highest pass rush productivity in the nation as a Senior at Florida Atlantic at 20.5 and a total of 30 college sacks in his career. Hendrickson’s combine numbers rivaled that of teammate Marcus Davenport as he logged a 4.65 40 yard dash, his 10 yard split was 1.59 seconds, 18 reps on the bench at 225 lbs, a vertical jump of 33.5, a broad jump of 120.5 inches. And a 3 cone drill of 7.03 seconds. Compare that to Davenport who posted a 4.58 40 yard dash, 1.62 10 yard split, 22 reps on the bench, a vertical leap of 33.5, a broad jump of 124 inches and a 3 cone of 7.20 seconds and Davenport is suppose to be this athletic freak superior to Hendrickson???

 

Even Hendrickson’s body style compares favorably to that of Davenport as Hendrickson measures in at 6’4” 270 lbs with 32 inch arms while Davenport is 6’5” 265 lbs with 33.5 inch arms. Both were small school prospects, granted Hendrickson is 2 years older. Similar in so many ways but when Davenport was coming out of Texas of San Antonio the concerns with him were health and how much did he truly love football. With Hendrickson his love of the game was never questioned and he was considered a iron man in college who played through injuries.

 

How’s that playing out in the NFL so far? Davenport showed some promise but simply can’t stay in the field with what appears to be nagging injuries while Hendrickson battled through a neck issue to deliver the best pass rush season of 2020 in the NFL.

 

Let’s be honest here… once you do the homework there is only one reason to even consider choosing Davenport over Hendrickson, its because of the of the investment the Saints choose to place into Davenport by trading 2 1st round picks to get him. Hogwash!!! Good executives admit their mistakes and move on when presented with something better. There doing that very same thing right now when they choose to extend David Onyemata this offseason knowing full well it ment this would be the final year of former 1st round pick Sheldon Rankins time with the organization.

 

 

#3. Hendrickson is actually an ideal compliment to Cameron Jordan's skill set.

Cameron Jordan (despite his down year in 2020) is still one of the NFL's best dual skill set defensive ends around. Jordan excels at setting the edge in the run game and is an underrated pass rusher who’s closing in on 100 career sacks. Jordan is quietly putting up Hall of Fame numbers and is well on his way to catching Rickey Jackson Saints sack leading 120. Jordan’s physical style and dual skill set is an ideal fit on the strong side of the Saints defensive line but he needs a complimentary and effective pass rusher opposite of him to take advantage of the one on one’s that Jordan's presence will present for the weak side, Hendrickson has proven to be that guy. I understand that on the huff, Davenport would appear to be the guy but its time for the Saints to invest into production instead of potential here.

 

 

#4. Hendrickson is becoming a team leader.

Reports out of New Orleans throughout the season on Hendrickson was other than his surging production, he also has been becoming more of a vocal leader on the defense where as Davenport is more of a introvert and quiet guy in the locker room. With Drew Brees retiring , the Saints will need all the leadership they can get so there is an added value to Hendrickson. Hes a respected player on the Saints roster as a self made dude that gets the absolute most out of his ability and has high character and a non stop motor with a tremendous work ethic. He’s athletic and technique beautiful and has benefited the most from Ryan Nielson’s coaching… why wouldn’t you want to build around and reward a guy like that?

 

 

#5. Is Hendrickson worth the money… is he a one year wonder?

Here’s the million dollar question… for the Saints to keep Hendrickson they will have to commit to him as a top edge rusher. Will that mean top pass rusher money, I’m not so sure. Hendrickson’s understands what this scheme does for him and he has a loyal makeup to him so I expect him to give the Saints every opportunity to retain him. I do feel Hendrickson would take a slight discount to remain in New Orleans but there will be a breaking point. I feel the Saints can retain Hendrickson as a high priced #2 which would cost in the neighborhood of around 15-16 million per year. Hefty, yes I know but Hendrickson possesses a skill that is extremely valuable in the NFL, one that NFL teams are desperate for so its hard for me to understand why the Saints would invest the draft pick in him, develop him, have him finally break out just to lose him to someone else.

 

Get it done Mickey!

 

 

 

Thoughts?

 

 

WHODAT

 

 

 

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He’s great and all, but I’m not gonna say he was better than Aaron Donald.  Teams focus entire game plans around trying to slow down Aaron Donald and he still produces at that level.  Hendrickson kinda caught the league by surprise.  I think he’ll remain a solid pass rusher worth re signing, but tops in the league probably not.  If it turns out I’m wrong, well then I guess I was wrong.

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5 hours ago, Jlowe22 said:

He’s great and all, but I’m not gonna say he was better than Aaron Donald.  Teams focus entire game plans around trying to slow down Aaron Donald and he still produces at that level.  Hendrickson kinda caught the league by surprise.  I think he’ll remain a solid pass rusher worth re signing, but tops in the league probably not.  If it turns out I’m wrong, well then I guess I was wrong.

I agree... I was just pointing out that regardless whom you feel is better, that's the level of his actual production. The thing is that as long as Hendrickson is a bookend to Jordan he is capable of putting up these type of numbers over the next 2-3 years. Especially with Onyemata's interior penatration who also is signed on for the next 3 years. Thats why I feel handing Hendrickson a 4 year deal (backloaded) would benefit us. Is he a 16 million per year player... not really, more like 12 but he can produce like a 16 guy over the next 3 years with whats around him and the other 2 guys are already signed up. Its either that or hope and pray Davenport breaks out. Me personally I'd rather resign Hendrickson and look to trade Davenport for a draft pick now that it looks like we will loose two over Covid 19 violations. 

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On 2/6/2021 at 11:04 PM, tyler735 said:

Yep been saying for months he needs to be our top priority among defensive players this offseason. I think making sure Ramczyk is back is our top priority.

This Superbowl proved... you can find safeties and corners in the 2nd and 3rd rounds. If your expecting to best the top teams with the top quarterbacks you better be able to get after said quarterback. This makes me believe that Hendrickson should be a top priority in free agency and we can replace Marcus Williams in the 1st or 2nd round of the draft. This is actually a good class for safeties and the Saints have a very good new secondary coach. Even former Panthers WR Steve Smith who was recently asked who was the corner he hated facing, his response was telling... "I hated facing good defensive fronts, I don't care who was at corner, if the quarterback did not have time to throw the football all corners look good and if the quarterback has time to throw all corners look bad".

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18 minutes ago, whodatworm23 said:

This Superbowl proved... you can find safeties and corners in the 2nd and 3rd rounds. If your expecting to best the top teams with the top quarterbacks you better be able to get after said quarterback. This makes me believe that Hendrickson should be a top priority in free agency and we can replace Marcus Williams in the 1st or 2nd round of the draft. This is actually a good class for safeties and the Saints have a very good new secondary coach. Even former Panthers WR Steve Smith who was recently asked who was the corner he hated facing, his response was telling... "I hated facing good defensive fronts, I don't care who was at corner, if the quarterback did not have time to throw the football all corners look good and if the quarterback has time to throw all corners look bad".

Not only that, Hendrickson proved he could cause chaos against Mahomes when we played the Chiefs. Brees had a terrible game where it was his 1st game coming back from all those injuries, yet we were still in it until the end. Hendrickson played a significant role in that. This was even before Mahomes star LT went out for the season with the injury and Hendrickson abused him all game.

I'd even venture to say he was impactful in both games against Tampa Bay in the regular season getting pressure on Brady with 3 sacks in those 2 regular season games. I have a feeling he wasn't 100% in the playoff game against the Bucs coming back from a neck injury. Regardless, in the 3 games he played in the regular season against last night's super bowl teams he accounted for 5 sacks and ton of pressure on Brady/Mahomes. He needs to be a priority signing for us.

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1 hour ago, tyler735 said:

Not only that, Hendrickson proved he could cause chaos against Mahomes when we played the Chiefs. Brees had a terrible game where it was his 1st game coming back from all those injuries, yet we were still in it until the end. Hendrickson played a significant role in that. This was even before Mahomes star LT went out for the season with the injury and Hendrickson abused him all game.

I'd even venture to say he was impactful in both games against Tampa Bay in the regular season getting pressure on Brady with 3 sacks in those 2 regular season games. I have a feeling he wasn't 100% in the playoff game against the Bucs coming back from a neck injury. Regardless, in the 3 games he played in the regular season against last night's super bowl teams he accounted for 5 sacks and ton of pressure on Brady/Mahomes. He needs to be a priority signing for us.

Agreed

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If Hendrickson won't resign for 8-12 mil AAV we need to let him go.  He's not a premiere pass rusher that can just take over a game and dominate on his own that should get 15-20+ mil AAV.  He's a great #2 option that's it.  Aaron Donald, TJ Watt, Bosas, Myles Garrett, JJ Watt, etc that all provide as much or more value in their down years as Hendrickson provided in his best year.

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7 minutes ago, Raves said:

If Hendrickson won't resign for 8-12 mil AAV we need to let him go.  He's not a premiere pass rusher that can just take over a game and dominate on his own that should get 15-20+ mil AAV.  He's a great #2 option that's it.  Aaron Donald, TJ Watt, Bosas, Myles Garrett, JJ Watt, etc that all provide as much or more value in their down years as Hendrickson provided in his best year.

Raves... you realize that those top guys are making 20+ per year right now right? Hell Bosa is making 27 per year. Garrett, Mack, Lawrence, Frank all making 20+ and when the other Bosa and others contracts come.up they will too. Jordan took a discount deal with Saints at 17.5 so he's the outlier.  #2 pass rusher money these days is between 14-16 million, especially for a young prospect like Hendrickson who is a unrestricted free agent after having the season he just had. Not often a 26 year old with his skills hits the market. Now I wouldn't pay him 17+... I do have a cut off but I realize the reality of what it is and what the market bares.

 

Don't get me wrong... I totally understand that the Saints will likely offer a deal around 12-13.5 per to him and he'll likely land a deal in FA around 15-18 per and he'll depart New Orleans.

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1 hour ago, Raves said:

If Hendrickson won't resign for 8-12 mil AAV we need to let him go.  He's not a premiere pass rusher that can just take over a game and dominate on his own that should get 15-20+ mil AAV.  He's a great #2 option that's it.  Aaron Donald, TJ Watt, Bosas, Myles Garrett, JJ Watt, etc that all provide as much or more value in their down years as Hendrickson provided in his best year.

Pass rushers unfortunately are an expensive breed. I like Hendrickson but he's a clear walk candidate because whatever we offer him, another team will be able to beat and like Raves says, he just isn't a game changer. Excellent year, quality draft choice that should have been one of the best values on a super bowl contending team, but I never saw him cashing in on this productive season with this team. Wherever he does land I wish him the best. And if we resign and somehow don't break the bank? Well then I'm all for it.

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1 hour ago, whodatworm23 said:

Raves... you realize that those top guys are making 20+ per year right now right? Hell Bosa is making 27 per year. Garrett, Mack, Lawrence, Frank all making 20+ and when the other Bosa and others contracts come.up they will too. Jordan took a discount deal with Saints at 17.5 so he's the outlier.  #2 pass rusher money these days is between 14-16 million, especially for a young prospect like Hendrickson who is a unrestricted free agent after having the season he just had. Not often a 26 year old with his skills hits the market. Now I wouldn't pay him 17+... I do have a cut off but I realize the reality of what it is and what the market bares.

 

Don't get me wrong... I totally understand that the Saints will likely offer a deal around 12-13.5 per to him and he'll likely land a deal in FA around 15-18 per and he'll depart New Orleans.

Didn't realize it jumped that high up, I knew it was like 17-20+ mil last I paid attention.  But yeah I still wouldn't pay him more than about 13.5 mil AAV.  Just isn't impactful enough that we shouldn't be able to find someone to replace his opportunism.

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53 minutes ago, Fray32 said:

Pass rushers unfortunately are an expensive breed. I like Hendrickson but he's a clear walk candidate because whatever we offer him, another team will be able to beat and like Raves says, he just isn't a game changer. Excellent year, quality draft choice that should have been one of the best values on a super bowl contending team, but I never saw him cashing in on this productive season with this team. Wherever he does land I wish him the best. And if we resign and somehow don't break the bank? Well then I'm all for it.

In the end I think Hendrickson ends up with a deal in the neighborhood of 16 million per year with a team with a ton of cap space.

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5 minutes ago, Raves said:

Didn't realize it jumped that high up, I knew it was like 17-20+ mil last I paid attention.  But yeah I still wouldn't pay him more than about 13.5 mil AAV.  Just isn't impactful enough that we shouldn't be able to find someone to replace his opportunism.

Agreed... I'd want him back, I think 14 would be my breaking point but I feel he's gonna land a deal around 16-16.5 per with the Browns, Jaguars, Lions, or somewhere where that team has a need and they open a ton of cap space.

 

I'm also concerned about Marcus Williams... about 14-15 million per seems to be the rate right now but this is a loaded safety class. Could get a comparable prospect at 28 for far less.

 

Business wise it might be the smart move to move on from both.

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