Saints Showed Interest In Marquez Valdes-Scantling; Latest On WR’s Bills Signing

Marquez Valdes-Scantling trudged through an inconsistent 2023 season, albeit one that included pivotal contributions in the playoffs. But the two-time Super Bowl champion attracted a decent market in the weeks following the draft.

Post-draft signings not affecting teams’ 2025 compensatory formula played into the MVS chase, which featured a few teams. Although the Bills won out for the two-year Chiefs starter, the Chargers also arranged a visit. The Saints were part of this pursuit as well, according to Bleacher Report’s Jordan Schultz.

New Orleans cut the cord on Michael Thomas this offseason, shedding the uniquely constructed contract as a post-June 1 cut. The team did add Cedrick Wilson Jr. in free agency, but the second-generation NFL wideout is coming off a down Dolphins tenure. While the Saints have first-rounder Chris Olave entrenched as their top target and found a gem in UDFA Rashid Shaheed, more complementary help would make sense going into Dennis Allen‘s third year as head coach.

The Saints used a fifth-round pick on Pittsburgh’s Bub Means and also added Equanimeous St. Brown as a flier-type free agent. Sixth-round pick A.T. Perry showed promise as a rookie, averaging 20.5 yards per catch (12 receptions, 246 yards, four touchdowns). The team also has receiving tight end Juwan Johnson and enduring jack of all trades Taysom Hill to help Derek Carr in his second New Orleans season. With the market thinning following the signings of MVS, Odell Beckham Jr., DJ Chark and Zay Jones, the Saints may be prepared to go with their current receiving cast.

Valdes-Scantling’s Bills deal is worth up to $4.25MM. With the base value assuredly checking in lower, it is worth wondering if the Saints made an offer. MVS visited the Bills this week, and’s Jeremy Fowler adds the six-year veteran had dinner at Josh Allen‘s house during his Buffalo trek. This meeting helped convince the former Packers fifth-round pick to join a crowded but uncertain Bills receiving corps.

The Bills let Gabe Davis defect to the Jaguars in March and, despite incurring a non-quarterback record $31MM in dead money, the team traded Stefon Diggs to the Texans in April. The team used a second-round pick on Florida State’s Keon Coleman. The 6-foot-4 rookie will be expected to play a key role on a team flooded with midlevel veterans. In addition to Valdes-Scantling, the Bills have signed Curtis Samuel, Chase Claypool, Mack Hollins and KJ Hamler. This cast’s makeup points to MVS carving out a role in a group that will also need 2022 draftee Khalil Shakir to continue an upward trajectory.

MVS joined the likes of Kadarius Toney and Skyy Moore in struggling for an unreliable (beyond Rashee Rice) Chiefs receiving corps last season. Formerly attached to a three-year, $30MM deal, the 6-4 target struggled down the stretch in 2022 as well. The inconsistent deep threat still totaled 687 receiving yards in his Kansas City debut and produced a six-catch, 116-yard performance in the ’22 AFC title game — with the other prominent Chiefs wideouts unavailable due to injury — to help the hosts fend off the Bengals despite Patrick Mahomes limited with a high ankle sprain.

Committing a brutal drop in a narrow loss to the Eagles, Valdes-Scantling finished the regular season with just 315 yards. But he came up big against the Bills (two catches, 62 yards) and caught a conference-clinching lob from Mahomes against the Ravens before scoring a touchdown against the 49ers. The Bills will hope their newest addition can at least commandeer an auxiliary role within their post-Diggs WR crew.

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