It’s another year and another end of an era for the New Orleans Saints. One season after they said goodbye to Drew Brees, New Orleans will welcome in a new head coach in 2022. Sean Payton, who was at the helm for 15 generally successful seasons — including a Super Bowl win in 2007 — has decided to walk away. In his wake resides a team with a lot of salary cap maneuvering to do and long Super Bowl 57 odds at +3000, according to DraftKings Sportsbook.
In Payton’s final season, the Saints went 9-8 and narrowly missed the playoffs. New Orleans got off to a 5-2 start but then lost their next five games after starting QB Jameis Winston tore his left ACL during a Week 8 victory over the Buccaneers. They rebounded to win four of their last five games behind quarterback Taysom Hill. The Saints have strung together five straight losing seasons and have won at least seven games every year since 2005.
New Orleans Saints Super Bowl 57 odds: +3000
The Saints are about $75 million over the cap, which would appear to be an unenviable spot, but it seems as if the Saints are always in salary cap hell and yet always figure out a way to still be competitive.
Their top offseason question is one that teams don’t like to ask: Who’s our quarterback? Taysom Hill ended the year as the starter, but he is not an NFL-level passer entering his age-32 season and he’s going to be coming off of a lengthy rehab following multiple offseason foot surgeries. Winston and Trevor Siemian are free agents, so it’s very possible that New Orleans’ starting QB in 2022 isn’t on the current roster.
They have a few critical free agents to address, including defensive backs P.J. Williams and Marcus Williams. Terron Armstead has been a quality left tackle when he’s on the field, but injuries have been a consistent issue for him; he played just eight games in 2021. Armstead is an unrestricted free agent, and it’s up in the air as to whether he’ll be back.
And then you have to look at the WR corps, which contains a handful of unproven players behind Michael Thomas, who missed the entire 2021 season due to ankle problems.
Can the Saints find their next quarterback, upgrade their O-line, keep their defense intact, supplement the offense with another pass-catcher or two and make it all work with no cap space and under a head coach? That is the tall task the franchise faces in 2022.
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