Saints have already traded two 2020 picks, part of their usual strategy

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The 2019 NFL draft is not even two weeks old, but the Saints have already used two of their picks in the 2020 draft.

New Orleans traded its second-round pick next year to Miami to move up in the second round this year, and traded its seventh-round pick next year as part of the deal with the Giants to land cornerback Eli Apple. So the Saints are already down to five picks next year. That’s par for the course in New Orleans: Mike Renner of PFF notes that the Saints have traded away a future pick in five consecutive drafts.

And that’s part of a general strategy that the Saints have had to maximize the current year, rather than build for future years. Other aspects of that strategy include eschewing compensatory picks (the Saints never qualify for compensatory picks because they always sign more qualifying free agents than they lose), and kicking the can down the road on Drew Brees‘s contract, pushing more of his cap hit into future years.

That’s not necessarily a bad strategy, given that Brees is 40 and he won’t be around forever. It makes sense to try to win while they still have Brees, and worry about life after Brees later.

The question, then, is whether the Saints have done enough to get over the hump and win another Super Bowl with Brees. They’re running out of time.