Sean Payton on Nigel Bradham
Kyle T. Mosley
Nigel Bradham's signing gives the Saints choices at linebacker to dress veteran talent, which has been thin after the injury to Kiko Alonso against Minnesota.
In Sean Payton's Wednesday call with the media, I wanted to know Coach's initial thoughts on Nigel Bradham. He [Coach Payton] replied:
New Orleans Saints EVP/GM Mickey Loomis officially announced Bradham's signing with the team on August 7, 2020. As Coach Payton mentioned, the linebacker had to pass the physical and COVID-19 testing protocol before joining his new teammates.
Bradham is a veteran player with a championship pedigree. He won ACC championships in college with Florida State and a Super Bowl championship with the Philadelphia Eagles. Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins and Bradham were together when the Eagles defeated the New England Patriots 41-33 in Super Bowl 52. They handed legendary head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady their third Super Bowl loss as Patriots.
All-Pro linebacker Demario Davis leads the Saints linebacking unit. Bradham joins Davis, veteran linebackers Alex Anzalone, Kiko Alonso, Craig Robertson, Anthony Chickillo, Kaden Elliss, Andrew Dowell, and Chase Hansen, as rookies Zack Baun (Wisconsin) and Joe Bachie (UDFA- Michigan State) round out the unit in training camp.
Versatility is the key. If Bradham can be willing to play in the rotation and special teams, New Orleans will have to release a couple of veterans or less-seasoned prospects. Longtime special teams contributor Craig Robertson may be in a tight battle with newly signed Anthony Chickillo is a special teams specialist. If you add the promising talents of Kaden Elliss and rookie Joe Bachie in the mix, defensive coordinator Dennis Allen will have a tough time deciding on his final linebackers.
For New Orleans, the abundance of talent is useful for training camp battles. The lack of preseason games will only heighten the competitiveness of the players ahead of the Tampa Bay game in Week 1.