No Saints Deals In Place For RB Kareem Hunt, LB Anthony Barr

2:59pm: Not so fast. Both players departed their New Orleans visits without deals in place. The Saints remain interested in the nine-year vet, but Mike Garafolo of tweets other teams have emerged as potential options as well. It is unclear which teams are in on Barr, who could still end up with the Saints. For now, however, no agreement has been reached. Ditto Hunt, who is set for a Colts visit Wednesday.

11:17am: One day after news of their workouts was learned, both Kareem Hunt and Anthony Barr are set to head to New Orleans. The Saints are expected to sign both veterans pending a physical, reports ESPN’s Dianna Russini (Twitter link).

Barr met with the Saints yesterday, while Hunt’s visit was scheduled for today. To little surprise, the interest shown by the team has quickly resulted in agreements being reached. Neither player had generated much of a market for their services during the offseason, but they will now have plenty of time to acclimate to their new team.

Especially to begin the year, New Orleans will be shorthanded in the backfield. Alvin Kamara was issued a three-game suspension for his involvement in a violent altercation in February 2022, which will leave the Saints without the five-time Pro Bowler. Eno Benjamin, meanwhile, will not be available at any point this campaign after he suffered an Achilles tear.

Hunt will look to serve in a similar capacity to his Browns tenure during his Saints stint. The 28-year-old operated as a consistent pass-catching back while Nick Chubb handled much of the team’s carries. Hunt still logged 442 carries in his 49 games in Cleveland, though, averaging 4.2 yards per rush in the process. If needed, he could handle a notable workload in his new home.

The Browns looked likely to move Hunt at the trade deadline, but he instead needed to wait until August to join a new team. In addition to Kamara, though, New Orleans boasts free agent signing Jamaal Williams and third-round rookie Kendre Miller in its new-look backfield. It will be interesting to watch how Hunt fits in during Kamara’s absence and how much of a role he is able to carve out upon the latter’s return.

Barr, meanwhile, is set to be on the move for the second time in as many years. His eight-year Vikings tenure ended last offseason, and the former first-rounder played in Dallas in 2022. Barr saw his playing time cut significantly compared to most of his Minnesota campaigns, and his lowered production helped keep him on the market deep into the summer.

The Saints have a number of options at the linebacker spot as is, with Demario Davis in place as an anchor of the team’s defense. 2021 second-rounder Pete Werner saw a sizeable jump in playing time last season, and he can be expected to remain a full-time starter moving forward. Recent draftees Zack Baun and D’Marco Jackson (the latter of whom missed his entire rookie season due to injury) are also in the mix for significant snaps. Barr will look to prove himself to be at least a quality rotational member of the unit.

The Saints entered today with just under $13MM in cap space, which should be enough to comfortably afford Hunt and Barr on what will no doubt be short-term, low-cost deals. Both players will add considerable experience to what is already one of the most veteran-laden teams in the league as the they aim to rebuild their free agent stock in a new setting.

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