Saints staring at inevitability of rebuilding – Crescent City Sports
This week, there’s a lot of discussion about the Saints immediate future.
Did Dennis Allen made the correct decision by choosing Andy Dalton as his starting quarterback, even though Jameis Winston is healthy? Can the Saints defense, clearly not the same unit that it was a year ago, improve rapidly? Can the Saints win the NFC South with a losing record?
Those are all valid questions.
But there’s a bigger question out there.
What about the Saint’s future in 2023 and beyond? It looks murky at best, and that may be generous.
Overthecap.com said this week that the Saints have over 190 million dollars in prorated money built into their 2022 salaries. That is more than double the league average, and $21.2 million more than the Los Angeles Rams, who own the NFL moniker of spend now , pay later.
The Saints do not have a first round pick in 2023. It belongs to Philadelphia. Two of their premier players, Cam Jordan and Demario Davis are both 33 years old.
Ironically, the Saints best hope moving forward is Sean Payton.
If Payton coaches next season, the Saints should get a compensation package that includes at least one first round draft pick. The package should probably be more significant.
The Raiders traded Jon Gruden to the Bucs for two first round picks, two second round picks, and $8 million. The Jets traded Bill Belichick to the Patriots for a package of picks that included a first rounder. But when they were traded, neither Gruden or Belichick had won Super Bowls.
With a first round pick, the Saints could potentially draft their quarterback of the future and start over.
That’s right, start over.
Purge the roster, take the salary cap charges, draft a young quarterback and undertake the painstaking process of…yes, the R word…rebuilding.
If the Saints scouting department is as good as advertised, they will the right players to quickly restock the roster. Of course, finding the right quarterback will be a bit trickier.
The Eagles, the only undefeated team in the NFL, found theirs in the second round in 2020 with pick number 53. Jalen Hurts has shown steady improvement. As a rookie, his completion percentage was 52 percent. Currently, Hurts completes 66.8 percent of his throws.
So, while the debate rages on about the current team, about whether Andy Dalton was the correct choice for now and whether Dennis Allen is a quality NFL head coach, there can be no debate about the following.
Sean Payton is a man of impeccable timing.