It’s not often that you’ll find an NFL team on both sides of a list ranking the best offseason moves, but that’s where the New Orleans Saints landed. Derek Carr in black and gold. Sean Payton in navy and orange. Hey, look at us caught in the middle. Who would’ve thought?
Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox put together a list of the best offseason acquisitions from around the NFL, and the Saints are right in the mix after landing their new quarterback and letting go of their old head coach. Here’s what Knox had to say about New Orleans’ role in each transaction:
On Derek Carr
The Saints’ decision to sign Carr to a four-year contract worth up to $150 million ranked fourth out of the seven items on Knox’s list, making it one of the biggest shakeups under center for any team in the NFL this offseason. But the Carolina Panthers’ bold move up to the No. 1 pick in the 2023 draft could change everything:
Adding Carr should put New Orleans right in the thick of the NFC South mix in 2023. The Saints went 7-10 last season and boasted a top-10 defense in both yards and points allowed. However, they struggled offensively, ranking 19th in yards and 22nd in scoring.
Carr should help the offense tremendously, and it’s in no way a stretch to say that New Orleans now has the best quarterback in the division—though that could change by April, and we’ll get to that shortly.
This move also reunites Carr with head coach Dennis Allen, who was the Raiders coach when Carr was drafted by the franchise. The NFC South is there for the taking, and the Saints now stand a very good chance of winning the division for the first time since 2020.
On Sean Payton
Ranked just ahead of the Saints-Carr teamup at No. 3 on the seven-time list, Payton’s trade to the Denver Broncos earned high marks for the potential in him revitalizing Russell Wilson’s career. Denver can’t afford anything less:
There’s plenty of reason to believe this latest addition will pay off. Payton helped Drew Brees establish himself as a Hall of Famer in New Orleans. He’s played quarterback, and he knows how to develop them—Jameis Winston had a career-best 102.8 passer rating in Payton’s final season with the Saints.
Payton also knows what it takes to win a Super Bowl, having done so in the 2009 season.
The Broncos have to find a way to get Wilson back into Pro Bowl form while becoming relevant in the loaded AFC West. Acquiring Payton wasn’t cheap, but it may help make that happen.