Since Ted Ginn was placed on IR for the Saints, wide receiver No. 2 has been a bit of a problem for the Saints. It naturally should have been a void that free agent acquisition Cameron Meredith could step into, but he’s been battling a knee injury this year and he’s worked almost exclusively from the slot. With the Saints signing Dez Bryant, the Saints are putting Meredith on IR to allow him to rehab his knee.
According to Ian Rapoport, the arthroscopic knee surgery “may or may not” be necessary.
Meredith has been disappointing for the Saints, who signed him to a two-year deal worth $9.5 million. He hasn’t had targets in the last three games in which he’s gotten snaps, and he has nine catches on 10 targets this year for 114 yards and a touchdown (albeit a key one in the shootout against the Falcons).
With that in mind, it looks like the Saints will roll with a receiving corps of Michael Thomas, Bryant and Tre’Quan Smith. Ginn may be eligible for the post season if his knee is recovered by then as well. Thomas and Alvin Kamara have shouldered the load for the Saints in recent weeks, culminating in a 211-yard performance from Thomas against the Rams.
Whether or not Bryant is the difference-maker the Saints are looking for in the No. 2 slot remains to be seen, but the Saints had to do something. Although Thomas and Kamara have looked unstoppable for long stretches this season, for a quarterback who likes to proliferate the ball the way Drew Brees does some depth at receiver is certainly preferable.
As for Meredith, his dead cap becomes significantly lower on the new league year of July 1 ($2.75 million from $5.45 million), so whether or not he’s with the team come next season will likely depend on Bryant’s production and the status of the 33-year-old Ginn. Meredith is only 26, so it’s unlikely the Saints would let him go. The team has focused its efforts on winning the Super Bowl this year, so any young talent that can have some longevity will likely be welcome in the Saints’ camp in 2019 and beyond.
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