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#pounditWednesday, August 10, 2022

Articles tagged: New Orleans Saints

Tyrann Mathieu reveals stance on Saints after meeting

Tyrann Mathieu at the Pro Bowl

Tyrann Mathieu made an intriguing visit to the New Orleans Saints on Tuesday, but even he has doubts about whether a fit exists between the two parties.

The veteran safety and New Orleans native visited the Saints, but did so while visiting with family. In other words, the visit was not the primary reason Mathieu was in New Orleans, which would seemingly make it less significant.

Mathieu said the chance to play for the Saints would be a “great opportunity,” but admitted that the team probably does not need him.

“Those guys have done a great thing,” Mathieu said, via Wilson Alexander of The Advocate. “The last couple years, they’ve been like top 5 in defense. I don’t think they really need me, but it would be good to go back home and help them win.”

Mathieu is certainly clear-eyed about the situation. The Saints already signed safety Marcus Maye to a $28.5 million contract last March, and C.J. Gardner-Johnson is poised to handle the other safety position. That really doesn’t leave room for Mathieu, who is getting more realistic interest from elsewhere.

Photo: Feb 3, 2022; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Kansas City Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu (32) during AFC practice for the Pro Bowl at Las Vegas Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Tyrann Mathieu visits Saints, but there reportedly is a catch

Tyrann Mathieu at the Pro Bowl

Tyrann Mathieu is a free agent and apparently enjoying the process of being wooed. He visited with the Saints on Tuesday, but New Orleans fans shouldn’t get their hopes up yet.

NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport said that the Mathieu was making the visit while in New Orleans with family and friends. Rapoport also said nothing was imminent between the sides.

Had Mathieu gone out of his way to fly to a destination for the sole purpose of visiting with a team, that would have been a bigger deal. But if Mathieu was already in New Orleans for other reasons, and is just happening to take the visit to the Saints, then maybe fans shouldn’t get too excited.

Mathieu had 76 tackles, a sack and three interceptions in 16 games with the Chiefs last season. He remains a premier safety, and the Chiefs decided they couldn’t afford him.

Mathieu turns 30 next month and also reportedly has received interest from the Steelers.

Photo: Feb 3, 2022; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Kansas City Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu (32) during AFC practice for the Pro Bowl at Las Vegas Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Eagles, Saints shake up draft with major pick swap

Howie Roseman speaks with the media

The NFL Draft is still weeks away, but the Philadelphia Eagles and New Orleans Saints have already agreed to a major pick swap.

The Eagles, who originally had three first-round picks in this year’s draft, have traded the No. 16, No. 19, and No. 194 pick to the New Orleans Saints in exchange for No. 18, a 2023 first-round pick and more. Here’s the full breakdown of the deal:

By making the trade, the Eagles now have two picks in the first 18 selections this year and two picks in the first round next year. As ESPN’s Adam Schefter noted, that likely signals that they are going to give Jalen Hurts another year to prove himself. The 2023 draft is considered much deeper at the quarterback position, and the Eagles are now positioned to target a top QB a year from now if they need to.

The Saints now have three picks in the top 50 this year.

Eagles general manager Howie Roseman has always shown a willingness to swap picks, so the deal is hardly a shock. On paper, it looks like another smart one for Philadelphia.

Photo: Jul 28, 2021; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles general manager Howie Roseman speaks with the media at training camp at NovaCare Complex. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Jameis Winston was bothered by Saints’ Deshaun Watson pursuit

Jameis Winston with the Saints

The New Orleans Saints always appeared most likely to return to Jameis Winston as their quarterback for 2022. However, the team was heavily involved in the pursuit of Deshaun Watson.

Winston admitted that he was a bit upset by the Saints’ public flirtation with Watson. However, he is now grateful that the process forced him and the Saints to have “tough conversations” about how the team views him.

“I think that was the best part of this free agency process with me is because there were a bunch of tough conversations that I had with our coaches and with people on the business side of everything,” Winston said, via Katherine Terrell of The Athletic. “And I know if their pursuit of Deshaun didn’t happen, I would not have been able to have that growth and those conversations with people in important roles. So I’m actually thankful that everything turned out how it did because we did have to have tough conversations. We had to have conversations that probably I didn’t want to have or that they didn’t want to have. But it ended up leading to this now.”

Part of the issue for Winston was not just the pursuit of Watson, but the fact that the team has a new head coach in Dennis Allen. Winston wanted to know how the Saints viewed him and if he still had the confidence of the team’s coaching staff.

Reports consistently indicated that the Saints were just fine bringing Winston back. They owed it to themselves to see if they could land Watson, who is a superior quarterback. When they didn’t get him, they were fine going back to their safe secondary option. Winston seems to get that.

Photos: Dec 25, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston (2) before their game against the Minnesota Vikings at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Saints have made big decision about Taysom Hill

Taysom Hill in practice

Taysom Hill has signed multiple big contracts with the New Orleans Saints, and at one point it looked like he was the heir apparent to the Drew Brees throne. That is not the plan under new head coach Dennis Allen.

Jameis Winston is expected to start for the Saints next season after they recently re-signed him on a two-year deal. Allen told reporters this week that Hill is still going to get plenty of playing time, but it will be primarily as a tight end.

“I think the role for Taysom really is going to be a lot more of the kind of F tight end, move tight end type of role,” Allen said, via ESPN’s Mike Triplett. “I think that’s the direction that we need to move with him, because I think he can be one of the better players in the league in that role. So if Jameis is out there playing quarterback, I don’t really like having Taysom next to me on the sideline. And so I think you’ll see him more in that type of role.”

Hill has started games in the past when Winston and Brees were hurt. But the Saints signed Andy Dalton to a one-year deal on Tuesday, so it does not seem like they view Hill as the primary backup behind Winston.

The Saints signed Hill to what initially looked like a shockingly rich contract extension last year. The deal is structured in a very unique way, however. Hill will still make plenty of money, but he would earn far more if he were the primary quarterback in New Orleans. It does not sound like that will be his role.

Photo: May 23, 2017; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Taysom Hill (8) during organized team activities. Mandatory credit: Mark Hoffman/Journal Sentinel via USA TODAY Sports

Andy Dalton signs with new NFC team

Andy Dalton at the Pro Bowl

The New Orleans Saints recently brought back Jameis Winston to be their starting quarterback next season, and they have now added a trusted veteran backup to the fold.

Andy Dalton and the Saints have agreed to a one-year, $6 million deal, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Dalton spent last season with the Chicago Bears. The team infamously named him their starting quarterback after signing him and then went on to draft Justin Fields in the first round. Dalton still entered the year as the starter, but he suffered a knee injury in Week 2. Fields then took over, and Dalton got the job back after the rookie dealt with some injuries several weeks later.

The 34-year-old Dalton finished with 1,515 yards, eight touchdowns and nine interceptions last season. There was no market for him as a starter heading into 2022, but he makes sense for the Saints as a backup. Jameis Winston is recovering from a torn ACL, so Dalton gives the team an experienced insurance option.

Photo: Jan 27, 2017; Kissimmee, FL, USA; AFC quarterback Andy Dalton of the Cincinnati Bengals (14) throws a pass during practice for the 2017 Pro Bowl at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Jameis Winston re-signs with Saints

Jameis Winston with the Saints

The New Orleans Saints are one of a few teams that aggressively pursued Deshaun Watson only to miss out on the star quarterback, so they are bringing back a familiar face instead.

Jameis Winson has agreed to a two-year contract with the Saints. Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport of NFL Media report that the deal is worth $28 million with $21 million guaranteed, which is clear starter money.

Winston spent the last two seasons with the Saints. He tore his ACL in late-October, but he has said he hopes to be ready for the start of the 2022 season. The 28-year-old posted solid numbers before he got hurt, throwing for 1,170 yards, 14 touchdowns and three interceptions in seven games.

New Saints head coach Dennis Allen was an assistant on Sean Payton’s staff for several seasons before being promoted, so there is familiarity between him and Winston. The Saints must like what they saw from Winston before the year-ending knee injury.

Photo: Dec 25, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston (2) before their game against the Minnesota Vikings at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Saints reportedly make big decision on Taysom Hill’s future

Taysom Hill in practice

The New Orleans Saints are hunting for a quarterback, but Taysom Hill does not appear to be in consideration for the job at all.

Though Hill has long been hyped as a sort of hybrid player, the idea of him as a quarterback is reportedly off the table. The Athletic’s Larry Holder said on FiriusXM’s “Fantasy Dirt” that the experiment of Hill at quarterback is “over,” and he is not even being considered for the job.

This hardly comes as a surprise, as the Saints have been reluctant to put much faith in him during meaningful games. Hill also suffered a significant foot injury in January, so there are questions about his health as well.

The Saints tried and failed to trade for Deshaun Watson, but that failure left them back at square one. Instead of looking to Hill, they clearly prefer another option instead.

Photo: May 23, 2017; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Taysom Hill (8) during organized team activities. Mandatory credit: Mark Hoffman/Journal Sentinel via USA TODAY Sports

Saints eyeing new QB target after Deshaun Watson trade effort

Dennis Allen in a headset

The New Orleans Saints are moving on quickly after missing out on Deshaun Watson.

The Saints are expected to revisit their interest in Jameis Winston after Watson turned down a trade to New Orleans, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Winston played for the Saints for the last two seasons and appears to have been the team’s fallback plan all along.

The Saints aimed high with Watson, but fell short. Turning to their fallback option makes sense. Winston knows the system, and the Saints appear to view him as a safe, comfortable option if all else fails.

Winston tore his ACL on Oct. 31, but appears to be making good progress and hopes to be ready for the regular season. The 28-year-old passed for 1,170 yards, 14 touchdowns and three interceptions last season before the injury.

Photo: Dec 19, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen serves as head coach as Sean Payton has Covid-19 during the second half against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Deshaun Watson has narrowed decision to 2 teams

Deshaun Watson in pads

A Deshaun Watson trade could be completed in the very near future, as the star quarterback is said to have narrowed his decision down to two teams.

Watson met with the New Orleans Saints a second time on Wednesday night, according to a report from Nick Underhill. Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network notes that Saints general Mickey Loomis has been described as “determined” to land Watson. The three-time Pro Bowler is expected to choose either the Saints or Atlanta Falcons.

The Falcons entered the Watson sweepstakes later than some other teams, but the interest is clearly mutual. Watson grew up in Georgia and worked for the Falcons as a ball boy. He is said to have reached out to the team personally, though most believe the Saints are the favorite to trade for Watson.

Watson has a no-trade clause, so he essentially gets to choose where he ends up. There’s always a chance a surprise team could jump in late, and we know one other NFC team has been extremely aggressive in pursuing him.

Photo: Aug 17, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) before a game against the Detroit Lions at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports