The New Orleans Saints were reportedly in talks to sign veteran running back Kareem Hunt and linebacker Anthony Barr, but both players left the team without signing deals on Tuesday.
According to ESPN’s Dianna Russini, Hunt and Barr had both positive visits with the Saints, but they were unable to reach an agreement on contracts. Russini also reported that the Saints were willing to offer Hunt a two-year deal worth $10 million per year, but he was seeking a three-year deal.
Hunt is a two-time Pro Bowl running back who has spent the past four seasons with the Cleveland Browns. He is known for his explosive running ability and his knack for making plays in the open field. In 2022, Hunt rushed for 1,089 yards and eight touchdowns.
Barr is a versatile linebacker who has experience playing both inside and outside. He is a good pass rusher and he is also effective in coverage. Barr has made the Pro Bowl three times in his career.
The Saints were looking to add Hunt and Barr to their roster in an effort to improve their offense and defense. However, their departure leaves the team with some holes to fill in both areas.
The Saints are still in the market for a running back and a linebacker. They could look to sign a veteran free agent or they could draft a player in the upcoming NFL Draft.
The Saints are also facing some uncertainty at quarterback. Jameis Winston is expected to be the starter, but he is coming off a season-ending injury. The Saints could also look to add a backup quarterback in the draft.
The Saints are hoping to rebound from a disappointing 2022 season. They missed the playoffs for the first time since 2017. The team is hoping that the addition of Hunt and Barr, along with some other moves, will help them get back to the playoffs in 2023.