[Intersaison] New Orleans Saints: the Allen era begins

The 2021 season has just ended, and from March 16, the 2022 campaign will open its doors. Touchdown Actu therefore takes the opportunity to offer you an overview of the different franchises during the off-season. Which players to keep and cut? Which free agent to extend? Which rookies to watch? Here are some ideas, franchise by franchise. In the spotlight today, the New Orleans Saints.

A year ago, the Saints began a new era on the field with the retirement of Drew Brees. The new era is complete now with the departure of Sean Payton. The two men have written a wonderful chapter since 2006 with Super Bowl 44. A new chapter will be written in 2022 under the leadership of Dennis Allen.

The 2021 season was complicated, full of pitfalls, but it only took a few seconds to see the Saints in the playoffs. The resilience of this group but also the talent made this team move mountains. The team is not being rebuilt, but some serious challenges await it in 2022 with new men in charge.

The Tauliers

1. Demario Davis
2. Cameron Jordan
3. Alvin Kamara
4. Marshon Lattimore

After more than a decade of an offensive orgy, New Orleans attacked its transformation and transformed into one of the best defenses in the league. Inevitably, the tauliers are numerous in this corner of the team. Drafted in 2011, Cameron Jordan continues to be a nightmare for opposing offensive lines and quarterbacks. In 2021, he passed the barrier of 100 career sacks. Behind him is Demario Davis. It didn’t take long for the former Jet to transform into the leader of this team. Through his performances on and off the field, he took the torch passed on by Drew Brees. Davis is one of the best signings in franchise history.

The attack was decimated by injuries and he too had the right to his passage through the infirmary box. Alvin Kamara held this attack at arm’s length. His role has evolved this season with more runs and fewer receptions, which has diminished his offensive efficiency but the number 41 remains the star of the attack while waiting to see Michael Thomas back on the pitch.

Another member of the Class of 2017, Marshon Lattimore continues to provide solidity in the defensive back. The 2017 rookie of the year has to stuff himself with the best in terms of receivers every weekend, but he likes it and throwing in his zone is not easy.


– Taysom Hill (QB)
– Bradley Roby (BC)

It was one of Sean Payton’s finds, his Swiss army knife. Taysom Hill was a bit of everything in the Saints attack. Except that now, Payton is no longer there and Allen does not have the same philosophy of play. Is his profile necessary? In search of liquidity, the Saints will have to save money. Taysom Hill is expected to make nearly $12 million next season.

He joined the team at the start of the season to strengthen the air defense but it was ultimately without counting on the progression over the season of rookie Paulson Adebo. Bradley Roby arrived from Houston but failed to establish himself as a starter for the Saints. With his 10 million dollars next season, not sure we’ll see Roby again in New Orleans, at least not at that price.

The summer man

Michael Thomas (WR)

He wouldn’t have totally transformed the team and especially his attacking squad, but it would have changed a lot of things. The absence of the entire season of Michael Thomas weakened the attack of the Saints who then rested on the shoulders of Alvin Kamara. Injured in the ankle, operated (too?) late, some internal tensions, a hoped-for return in the middle of the season and then .. finally no, Thomas therefore had a white season in 2021. The best offensive player in 2019 must make his back on the pitch in 2022 and we’ll see if he’s back to 100% capacity. He will also have to find new automatisms with the quarterback who will no longer be Drew Brees. But with the talent he has, Michael Thomas will always manage to find solutions to stand out and receive the balls. The Saints need it, the Saints attack even more.

The main free agents

1.Marcus Williams
2. James Winston
3.Terron Armstead
4. Kwon Alexander
5. Deonte Harty

Marcus Williams is a key man in the Saints defense. Author of 2 interceptions and 74 tackles last season, he will be in high demand on the market. If he posted on Instagram a countdown to the start of free agency, the Saints can still tag him (around $13 million) or sign him long-term.

Another important defensive player is Kwon Alexander. A bit in the closet in San Francisco, he has been living again since his return to Louisiana (he played for LSU). Injured in the Achilles tendon after a good half-season in 2020, he has returned to the level where he left off and his duo with Davis is working very well. Keeping him won’t come for free for the Bayou team.

It wasn’t the Jameis Winston of Tampa Bay, it was a calmer, cleaner Jameis Winston. Before his knee injury, everything was going well for the Saints’ new quarterback. The question arises: will he return to the Saints? The possibility exists and on the one hand, it would be nice to see what it can do over an entire season and with a full squad. Maybe a one-year contract with a possible long contract extension afterwards?

He is one of the best in his position and although he tends to miss a few games each season, Terron Armstead is very solid in his position. It will be difficult to keep it at the market price. Deonte Harty is versatile: excellent in his special team role (Pro Bowl and All-Pro in 2019) and very useful with his speed on offense. The Saints will look to keep their pocket receiver.

Top 5 Needs

1. Quarterback
2. Receiver
3. Offensive line
4. Defensive backs
5. Linebacker

If generally, the defense was regularly reinforced for years via free agency and the draft, it seems that now, the attack needs a big boost. It all starts with the quarterback position. Who will be the man in charge of carrying out the attack? Winston, Hill, a rookie, a transfer…? Many things will depend on this choice. Afterwards, it will be necessary to offer targets to this quarterback whether at the receiver position and at the tight end position. Uncertainty is always present around Michael Thomas. It is better to plan something. The offensive line suffered from many last season, which did not help to have a correct offensive production. If most of the holders are under contract, the possible departure of Armstead will have to be compensated and it will surely be necessary to reinforce the replacements of this line.

The back line of the defense will have to be reinforced. Marcus Williams is not sure to return, which will leave a significant hole in the safety post, not to mention that Malcolm Jenkins is no longer very young. On the wings, several players are without a contract and therefore potentially on the way out. If Adebo imposes itself as the n°2 corner, it will be necessary to reinforce behind. If Alexander goes elsewhere, it will also be necessary to work to strengthen the position of linebacker and help Davis and Werner, author of a very good first season.


CJ Uzomah (Tight End)

What was missing a lot last season on the side of New Orleans: receivers! As tight end, Juwan Johnson was a nice surprise but reinforcements in this position will not be too much because Adam Trautman and Nick Vannett have had a complicated season for various reasons. The Bengals player comes out of a dream season with this disputed Super Bowl and a good season statistically (his best) with 639 yards in 64 receptions and 6 touchdowns, all in 20 games. The Saints system has always worked best with a big target in the middle but since the departures of Graham and Watson it has lacked that anchor. So why Uzomah especially that you will have to be smart to spend the money that is slightly missing.

The new blood

Jameson Williams (WR, Alabama)

For years, the Saints have not had a typical player profile for their first draft selection. Reinforcement is expected in attack and in the optics that Jameis Winston is extended, let’s opt for the receiver option with this choice n ° 18. The class is talented and it would not be surprising to see some fall in the middle of the 1st round. Former Ohio State, Williams had a great season with Alabama (75 receptions for 1507 yards and 15 touchdowns in 14 games). He can very well be number 2 behind Thomas as number 1 if Thomas is injured or more in the squad. Victim of a cruciate ligament injury in the final, we will have to see how he recovered.

Other possible choices: Kenny Pickett (QB, Pittsburgh), Matt Corral (QB, Mississippi), Treylon Burks (Arkansas), Chris Olave (Ohio State)

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