Saints Built for Continued Success for Life After Brees
Over the last three years the New Orleans Saints have been one of the most dominant teams in the NFL even though they fell short in their championship aspirations all three times. The Saints will once again be among the top Super Bowl favorites entering the 2020 season. Many expect that this season will be the last for 41-Yr old quarterback Drew Brees though, who reportedly considered retirement after his team's upset playoff loss to the Minnesota Vikings last January.
Brees is a 1st ballot Hall of Famer and one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game, and the Saints will have huge shoes to fill when he steps away. Head Coach Sean Payton and General Manager Mickey Loomis have built a dominant team by hitting big on draft picks and smart free agent signings. Those decisions have turned the Saints from a team that struggled through three straight 7-9 finishes into a powerhouse that has gone 37-11 and won three straight NFC South titles.
Only fourteen players on the Saints current 90-man roster are over the age of 30, with Brees and punter Thomas Morstead (34) being the oldest. Fifteen of the projected New Orleans starters for this season are 28 years old or younger, with the bulk of the teams stars at 30 or younger. Wide receiver Michael Thomas (27-Yrs old), offensive linemen Ryan Ramczyk (26) and Terron Armstead (28), defensive end Cameron Jordan (30), linebacker Demario Davis (31), cornerback Marshon Lattimore (24), and running back Alvin Kamara (24) are considered among the best at their respective positions and are in the prime of their careers.
Guard Andrus Peat (26), linebacker Alex Anzalone (25), safety Marcus Williams (23), and defensive tackles Sheldon Rankins (26), Malcom Brown (26), and David Onyemata (27) have all shined at moments and give the Saints incredible depth. Rising stars like end Marcus Davenport (23), defensive back Chauncey Gardner-Johnson (22), kick returner Deonte Harris (22), defensive tackle Shy Tuttle (24), and center Erik McCoy (22) round out the team's championship contending corps.
This franchise has some tough contract decisions to make over the next few seasons, as players like Davis, Kamara, Ramczyk, Lattimore, Anzalone, Williams, and Rankins will all be free agents in the next two years. The Saints have done a remarkable job at juggling finances and keeping this talented core intact. Michael Thomas, Cam Jordan, Peat, Armstead, and Onyemata have already been locked down for the next several seasons.
New Orleans will have a critical decision to make at quarterback when the great Drew Brees retires. Whether his replacement is Jameis Winston or Taysom Hill, the current backups, a 2021 draft pick, or a future free agent acquisition is a debate for another day. Whoever the next New Orleans Saints Saints quarterback is will be surrounded by one of the most talented rosters in the National Football League, a recipe for instant success.