The New Orleans Saints were dealt more bad news on Wednesday. Former two-time first-team All-Pro wide receiver Michael Thomas is out for the season. Thomas has missed the entire season thus far due to injury and has a new ankle injury.
The news comes days after starting quarterback Jameis Winston tore his ACL. The Saints are thin at wide receiver and can't make trades at this point in the season.
They'll have to find help in free agency if they wish to upgrade their passing game.
3 free agents the Saints should target to replace Michael Thomas
# 1 - John Brown
John Brown is the best free-agent wide receiver on the market. Brown is a number two wide receiver who can produce like a number one wide receiver.
Although speed is the first thing that comes to mind with Brown, don't sleep on his route running.
Brown can work the middle of the field and make contested catches on the sideline. His breakaway speed wouldn't have to be as emphasized with Marquez Callaway and Deonte Harris filling that role.
Whether it's Taysom Hill or Trevor Siemian quarterbacking the team, they could use a veteran safety net to throw to. Saints coach Sean Payton would have fun scheming up plays with three speedsters on the field at all times.
# 2 - DeSean Jackson
DeSean Jackson is new to free agency, having been released by the Los Angeles Rams on Tuesday. Jackson is the ultimate speedster, who's admittedly limited in his route running.
Jackson will be 35 in December but could provide the Saints with some juice under Payton's guidance.
Jackson can't be overused, as health has always been his biggest achilles heel. But if the Saints like Callaway and Smith, Jackson could serve more as a mentor for the young duo and be used in certain circumstances.
There's still the blazing speed to Jackson's game that's kept him in the league for 16 seasons. He'll be a hot commodity as a free agent.
But the Saints need to make a move to continue making a push for the playoffs. Jackson would be a good addition and a solid fit with the Saints.
# 3 - Golden Tate
Golden Tate is another veteran whose best years are behind him. But Tate can contribute in a role where he's not the center of attention for the defense.
In his last stint with the New York Giants, he started to show his age. But he's still a stronger route runner than Callaway and Smith, which raises his stock.
Throughout his career, Tate has averaged 11.9 yards per reception. The Saints have been an attacking offense this season, averaging 11.1 yards per completion.
Tate might not boost that number drastically, but he won't bring it down either.
Tate is a year younger than Jackson and a year older than Brown. The Saints can decide which player fits their mold better this year.
None of these players may be on the team next year due to their ages.
But as a one-year stopgap, they can't go wrong with any of these options.