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#pounditSaturday, August 13, 2022

Articles tagged: New Orleans Saints

Report: Jarvis Landry attracting significant interest from 2 teams

Jarvis Landry in pads

Wide receiver Jarvis Landry is not having a hard time attracting interest after his release from the Cleveland Browns, according to a report.

The Kansas City Chiefs and New Orleans Saints have shown the most interest in Landry, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

The Chiefs and Saints both view themselves as contenders, so Landry is definitely being looked at as a secondary piece on a championship team. If Landry were to sign with either team, it is easy to see him operating as the secondary receiver to the Saints’ Michael Thomas or Kansas City’s Tyreek Hill.

The Saints look very active early in the offseason, as they’re in on another big target as well. The outcome of that pursuit may influence Landry’s eventual decision.

Photo: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Deshaun Watson has turned down all but 2 teams

Deshaun Watson in the rain

Deshaun Watson has significant power over his trade destination, and a new report suggests he has used it to narrow his list of suitors to two.

In an appearance on WFNZ in Charlotte, John McClain of the Houston Chronicle said Watson has “rejected” all but the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers, suggesting that one of those two teams is likely to be his ultimate destination. Watson has a full no-trade clause, so he can block a trade to any team if he wishes.

Interestingly, if true, this means Watson has rejected the Seattle Seahawks, who were rumored to be a leading contender to trade for the Houston Texans quarterback. It is unclear if Watson could open himself up to other teams again if his meetings with New Orleans and Carolina go poorly.

This does echo an earlier report suggesting that the Panthers and Saints were the leading contenders for Watson. If everyone else is out, that certainly changes the landscape.

Photo: Jan 27, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; AFC quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) in the NFL Pro Bowl football game at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Deshaun Watson open to waiving no-trade clause for at least 2 teams?

Deshaun Watson in the rain

The Deshaun Watson sweepstakes have heated up considerably since a grand jury declined to indict him on Friday, and the interest in the star quarterback appears to be mutual with at least two teams.

Watson is expected to meet with the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers this week, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Other teams are also in the mix.

Watson has a full no-trade clause in his contract with the Houston Texans. The team has given him permission to meet with potential trade suitors. If Watson did not want to play in New Orleans or Carolina, he probably would not bother talking to either team.

A report over the weekend claimed the Saints and Panthers have both made formal trade offers for Watson. Carolina has been aggressively pursuing Watson for quite some time.

Watson wants out of Houston, but the no-trade clause gives him control over his future. There has been talk that he is not willing to play for at least one NFC team.

Photo: Jan 27, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; AFC quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) in the NFL Pro Bowl football game at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Report: 2 NFC teams have made trade offers for Deshaun Watson

Deshaun Watson in pads

The list of teams that have interest in Deshaun Watson is growing by the day, and at least two potential suitors have reportedly made formal offers for the star quarterback.

The New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers have made offers for Watson, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports. The Houston Texans have given Watson permission to speak with interested teams.

A grand jury on Friday declined to indict Watson following an investigation into sexual assault allegations from multiple women. Watson could still be suspended after the NFL conducts its own investigation, but there would be much less risk now in trading for him. That has seemingly opened the floodgates for Houston.

Watson has a full no-trade clause, so the Texans have to work with him in order to get a deal done. The Panthers have been aggressively pursuing Watson for quite some time. A surprise team also reportedly entered the mix recently. Houston should get plenty in return for the three-time Pro Bowler.

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

Report: 5 teams have strongest interest in Deshaun Watson trade

Deshaun Watson in pads

Deshaun Watson’s legal situation was resolved Friday, meaning trade talks are expected to intensify in the days to come. There remain some conflicting rumors regarding which teams the Houston Texans will be hearing from, but a new report suggests five are seriously in the running.

The Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Cleveland Browns, Seattle Seahawks, and Pittsburgh Steelers were the five teams that have been most closely tracking developments with Watson, according to Kimberley A. Martin of ESPN.

Some of these teams are probably longer shots than others. The Steelers, for instance, may be looking but unlikely to pursue a deal. The Browns and Saints also have alternate plans at quarterback and may just be looking into Watson’s trade value.

The Panthers and Seahawks seem to be the teams to watch. Carolina’s interest is long-standing, while Seattle may be the favorite after trading Russell Wilson.

Watson could still be suspended, and he still faces multiple civil suits. However, those will be of lesser concern to NFL teams than a criminal case would have been.

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

Saints shut down Dolphins’ pursuit of Sean Payton with 2-word answer

Sean Payton on the sideline

The Miami Dolphins made a run at hiring Sean Payton away from the New Orleans Saints, but their efforts were denied.

Speaking with reporters from the NFL Scouting Combine on Wednesday, Dolphins general manager Chris Grier confirmed a rumor that the team had interest in Payton.

Grier says the Dolphins checked with the Saints for permission to talk with Payton prior to the coach stepping away.

Saints assistant GM apparently told the Dolphins “don’t bother.”

Payton ended up stepping away from football and has interest in a possible TV job.

Miami’s interest in Payton came as part of a rumored 2-part master plan that also involved Tom Brady. Grier denied having contact with Brady, who retired last month.

Photo: Aug 23, 2021; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton looks on during the second half against Jacksonville Jaguars at Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

6 NFL teams reportedly in hunt for quarterback help

Bruce Arians smiling

With an unconvincing class of rookie quarterbacks coming through the NFL Draft, a number of teams are eyeing veteran help at the position. A new report suggests six teams in particular are quite focused on available quarterbacks.

The Commanders, Colts, Buccaneers, Saints, Panthers, and Steelers are surveying the quarterback market, according to Jeff Howe of The Athletic. Washington has been particularly aggressive, while the Saints are among the teams more casually assessing available options.

None of these teams are particularly surprising. The Buccaneers and Steelers had Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger retire, while the Commanders, Colts, and Panthers got poor quarterback play for the bulk of 2021. The Saints appear to know which direction they’re leaning, but are doing their due diligence.

This is almost certainly not an exhaustive list. Some other teams are reportedly eyeing the market to at least see what comes available. However, these six teams are definitely among the most intriguing to watch during the offseason, as they figure to be active.

Photo: Sep 19, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians prior to the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Saints make decision on preferred QB for 2022?

Dennis Allen in a headset

The New Orleans Saints are facing a number of changes this offseason, and that could include the quarterback position. However, a new report suggests that the organization is hoping to stick with a familiar figure for 2022.

The Saints are expected to open contract talks with Jameis Winston imminently and may have already done so, according to Jim Trotter of NFL Network. Winston and the Saints are comfortable with each other, and Winston is knowledgeable about the system that longtime offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael will continue to run.

Winston started for the Saints in 2021, but his season ended prematurely when he tore his ACL in October. Though the injury comes with a lengthy recovery period, there is some optimism that he may be ready for the start of the season.

Winston threw 14 touchdown passes and three interceptions in 2021, and the team was 5-2 in games he started. Perhaps the Saints could upgrade, but it is sensible that they might choose to stick with familiarity at this point.

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

Saints make key decision to clear up Michael Thomas’ future

Michael Thomas during a game

The New Orleans Saints have offered up the clearest signal yet that wide receiver Michael Thomas will be back with the team in 2022.

The Saints restructured Thomas’ contract and converted $14.6 million of salary into a signing bonus, allowing the team to spread the cap hit for future years, according to Mike Triplett of ESPN. If the Saints were to trade Thomas, they would be responsible for paying all the cap charges this year.

In other words, the contract restructure all but ensures that the Saints will be keeping Thomas in 2022. The decision would make no sense if they didn’t.

Thomas and the Saints had a bit of a falling out last summer over how Thomas dealt with an injury. Things are apparently going much more smoothly so far this offseason. This move is clear evidence of that as well.

Photo: Dec 22, 2019; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (13) breaks the record for receptions in a season with this touchdown reception during the second half against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Saints reportedly make decision on Michael Thomas’ future

Michael Thomas during a game

Wide receiver Michael Thomas spent the 2021 season on the sidelines and somewhat at odds with the New Orleans Saints. A new report suggests that both sides are ready to turn the page on that ahead of 2022.

The Saints do want Thomas back and the two sides have been communicating regularly, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. The prospect of a Thomas trade now appears to be off the table, and Thomas has been focused on rehabbing after undergoing a second surgery on his foot.

The fact that Thomas and the Saints have been in communication is significant. That was one of the major issues last offseason, when Thomas reportedly blew off the organization when rehabbing the injury last offseason. That hastened tensions between the two sides, and there seemed to be a legitimate chance at one point that he’d played his last game for New Orleans.

Thomas posted a dominant 2019 season, racking up 1,725 receiving yards en route to AP Offensive Player of the Year honors. Injuries slowed him in 2020, and 2021 proved to be totally lost due to setbacks with his ankle. He has not played since the Saints’ 2020 season-ending loss, which saw him saddled with an unflattering nickname after a brutal performance. That should make him pretty motivated to return healthy and productive in 2022.

Photo: Dec 22, 2019; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (13) breaks the record for receptions in a season with this touchdown reception during the second half against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports