The New Orleans Saints aren’t viewed by most folks as a likely Super Bowl contender in 2022, but this team has a legitimate chance to make some noise in the NFC this season.

New Orleans is going to have an extremely strong defense in 2022. They also get star wide receiver Michael Thomas back.

Thomas missed all of last season with an ankle injury, but he’s reportedly looking like the 2019 version of himself during training camp.

The Saints’ success in 2022, however, will come down to the quarterback position (as is the case for nearly every team in the NFL).

New Orleans will rely on quarterback Jameis Winston as their starter this season.

Winston, who has a career record of 33-44 as a starter, has plenty of questions to answer about his abilities to lead the Saints to the playoffs — he’s never been a starting quarterback in the postseason. He also has to stay healthy this season after tearing his ACL last year and suffering a foot injury during training camp recently (he’s currently day-to-day with the injury).

The Saints’ defense is too good to waste this season. If Winston gets hurt or he continues his career trend and plays like a sub .500 quarterback, where does New Orleans turn?

I don’t think relying on Andy Dalton, the current backup quarterback, to get the Saints to the playoffs would be a wise idea. Dalton, who is 34, hasn’t had a winning record as a starter since 2015. He’s a good backup option, but he’s likely not leading New Orleans to the playoffs.

That’s why I think the Saints should get bold and make a move for San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

New Orleans Saints
Jan 30, 2022; Inglewood, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo calls a play in the first half against the Los Angeles Rams during the NFC Championship Game at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The 49ers are essentially tossing Garoppolo to the side in favor of Trey Lance.

It’s a bizarre move to me considering Garoppolo is 33-14 in his career as a starter and he’s led the 49ers to a Super Bowl appearance and two NFC Championship game appearances.

Garoppolo obviously isn’t Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady out there, but he’s a better option than most quarterbacks in the NFL.

(Speaking of Rodgers, Garoppolo is 2-0 against the future Hall of Famer in the playoffs.)

The 49ers haven’t been able to trade Garoppolo this offseason, which means they could end up releasing him before the start of the season. The Saints would be smart to swoop in with a lowball offer and snag Garoppolo.

New Orleans could still go with Winston this season as the starter and keep Garoppolo for insurance. If Winston gets hurt or proves to be ineffective, the Saints could quickly turn to Garoppolo and maybe save their season.

Garoppolo is a free agent after the 2022 season, so he would essentially be trying out — via practice or game action — to be New Orleans’ starting quarterback in 2023.

It’s never a bad thing to have options at quarterback. Garoppolo isn’t necessarily a sure thing, but he has a better resumé than any of the Saints’ current options.

Featured image via Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports