Things you should know about New Orleans Saints before the NFL 2021 Season starts. Offseason moves, Predictions, Coaches, Starting quarterback and more.
How have The Saints spent the last five seasons
|2016||7-9||3rd place in division||didn't make the playoffs|
|2017||11-5||division victory||divisional round loss|
|2018||13-3||division victory||defeat in the final of the conference|
|2019||13-3||division victory||round defeat to wild card|
|2020||12-4||division victory||divisional round loss|
Top 3 offseason moves
- D-End Payton Turner (draft) - The Saints lost two starting (and very serious) players from the defensive line at once, so their priorities in the draft were clear. Another thing is that Turner, according to many experts, didn't pull for a first-round pick. He has cool stats in his final college season in Houston (five sacks in five games) and a high ceiling of opportunities, but betting on him from day one would be too risky.
- D-end Tanoh Kpassagnon (free agent: $4.5 million for 2 years) - Kpassagnon has something most players on the Saints roster don't - a championship ring. He was a backup d-end for the Chiefs, but still managed to nail Josh Allen well in the playoffs. In New Orleans, he'll get a chance to step into the spotlight.
- Tight end Nick Vannett (free agent: $8 million for 3 years) - The loss of Jared Cook needed someone to make up for it, too, but Vannett is quite the budget option. In five years in the NFL, he's never gained more than 269 yards on receptions in a season. His primary function is blocks.
Worst offseason move
Quarterback Drew Brees (who ended his career) was the man loved by all but the BLM (for Brees' faith in the king and fatherland), a "foot-and-cap" by the 2001 draft experts, a pass-rusher on legs, an elite yet under-appreciated quarterback. Drew was kicked out of San Diego Chargers for a young Philip Rivers (to be fair, young Brees was playing erratically), and Miami wouldn't sign him because of health concerns. Then Brees came to Hurricane Katrina-ravaged New Orleans and, along with coach Sean Payton, built one of the most successful franchises of our time there. Brees always gained a lot of passing yards, largely because the Saints almost never had a good defense. He won only one ring and played in only one Super Bowl, though he was close to returning to the year's top game many times. Last season he had already frankly given up because of his age and went off into the sunset.
Coaches you should know
Head coach Sean Payton is a well-deserved master of offense with a very distinctive facial expression (pictured) in all circumstances. In a way, he's about to face the "Belichick problem," too. What are you worth when your great quarterback has left the team?
Jameis Winston is the last gunslinger in the Wild West (called a "gunslinger" in the NFL, a quarterback who aggressively throws the ball without fear of interception) and one of the league's most memorable characters. Master of motivational speeches and "eat the win" gestures. Holder of the unique record of 30 touchdowns and 30 interceptions in one season. What he has in common with Brees is that he also throws and scores a lot. If Peyton gets him out of his habit of giving the ball to defenders (Bruce Arians couldn't in Tampa), Winston will look very good. And if he doesn't, there's Swiss-knife man Taysom Hill behind him, who plays every position, including the quarterback position.
Three more stars in the lineup
- Running back Alvin Kamara is the sensation of the 2017 season. Selected in the third round, he gained 1,554 total yards on the season, more on receptions than takeaways. Arguably the best catching running back in the NFL.
- Cornerback Marshon Lattimore is another good hit by the Saints in the infamous 2017 draft. He was the Defensive Rookie of the Year on the fly, and in four years in the NFL, he failed to be selected to the All-Star Game only once.
- D-End Cameron Jordan is the perennial leader and star of the Saints' defense, at times the only one. He is now 32 years old, and his last season was not a good one by Jordan's standards, but it's still high class.
For a very long time, New Orleans has been playing the game of "save your problems for tomorrow. That tomorrow is today. In the offseason, the club came in with a $100 million salary cap hit. And even the departure of Drew Brees didn't help much in that regard. The Saints still have a very good offense - the only question is the quality of the receiving corps after it was reported that Michael Thomas will miss the first six weeks of the regular season. The defense, on the other hand, of course, has lost nearly half of its starting players, and things will be very tough here, but also familiar to fans. "New Orleans" will sag, but not as critically as panicked fans feared at the end of last season. Another thing is that it's probably time to forget about regular Super Bowl contention.