Ginn will help replace Brandin Cooks as a downfield threat alongside Michael Thomas and Willie Snead, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports. The Saints actually signed the soon-to-be 32-year-old before they traded Cooks, but it's hard to argue the two moves weren't related. Ginn can't be considered a direct replacement for the team's 2016 receiving yardage leader, but he can help to stretch opposing defenses the way Cooks so often did. Coming off back-to-back seasons in Carolina with more than 700 receiving yards, Ginn signed a three-year, $11 million contract with New Orleans -- making him the clear favorite for the No. 3 receiver role. The 2016 New Orleans offense produced three wideouts with 72 or more catches and 895 or more yards, with Willie Snead bringing up the rear in both categories among the trio. Snead and Michael Thomas figure to take on some of Cooks' vacated targets, but Ginn could also play a big role in replacing the speedy young wideout.
Ginn officially signed with the Saints on Friday. As expected, Ginn found a new home within the NFC South after spending three of the past four seasons in Carolina. He'll likely serve as a return specialist and deep threat for the Saints, with his presence potentially making it easier to stomach a trade sending Brandin Cooks out of town. Cooks has been the subject of trade rumors the past few weeks, as the Saints badly need to improve on defense and already have two other talented young wideouts in Michael Thomas and Willie Snead. Should Cooks ultimately be dealt, Ginn could earn a regular spot in three-wide formations in a potent New Orleans offense.
Ginn is expected to sign with the Saints, ESPN's Dianna Russini reports. Ginn bolsters a New Orleans wideout corps that also includes Michael Thomas, Willie Snead and Brandin Cooks, though his signing could potentially foreshadow the possible departure of Cooks via a trade. Ginn, who turns 32 in April, is coming off a 2016 season with the Panthers in which he caught 54 passes (on 95 targets) for 752 yards and four TDs in 16 games.
Ginn secured four of seven targets for 69 yards in Sunday's 17-16 loss to the Bucs. He also rushed for 24 yards on two rushes and netted zero yards on one punt return. Ginn had a touchdown called back and instead settled for a 39-yard gain on a play where his knee was ruled to have come down before he stood back up and continued running downfield. Nevertheless, the speedy veteran checked in second to Kelvin Benjamin in receptions and yardage on the Panthers in the contest, while equaling the latter's team-high seven targets. Despite his reputation as a downfield threat with suspect hands, Ginn turned in a serviceable performance as a No. 2 receiver in 2016, posting the second-best career reception (54) and yardage (752) totals of his career.
Ginn caught three passes (on nine targets) for 29 yards in the Panthers' Week 16 loss to the Falcons. Ginn entered the weekend having scored four times in Carolina's past five games. Not only did he fail to find the end zone Saturday, but he also registered under 30 yards for the second time in his last three outings. Although he's been targeted 17 times in the past couple weeks, the Panthers' passing inefficiency makes him a hit-or-miss Week 17 option.
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