The 2022 New Orleans Saints offseason has been filled with action. Whether for good or bad is still to be decided. Sean Payton, who has been the team’s head coach since 2006, winning a Super Bowl in 2009, retired, leaving defensive coordinator Dennis Allen to take over.
Improvements: Wide receiver
The biggest issue with the Saints roster over the last few seasons has been the depth and overall talent in the wide receiver room. The offense had a heavy reliance with Payton drawing up a game plan with Drew Brees and Michael Thomas executing it to perfection. Last year Thomas missed the whole season due to injury, but during the offseason, the Saints found two new wide receivers to take some of the burden off his shoulders.
HBD, @chrisolave_! 🎂🎁🎈
— Ohio State on BTN (@OhioStateOnBTN) June 27, 2022
The Saints moved up to the 11th pick to select Chris Olave in the draft. He is one of the most NFL-ready wide receivers in a deep receiving class and has a similar playing style to Thomas, with great route-running skill. They also signed eight-year veteran and five-time Pro Bowler Jarvis Landry to the team, who can round out an above-average receiving core now.
Stayed the same: Offensive line
The offensive line for the Saints has always been a strong point. The line gave a lot of time and space for a smaller quarterback in Brees to have enough throws to become one of the best passers in NFL history. This offseason saw the offensive line take a massive hit, with Terron Armstead signing with the Miami Dolphins.
However, Armstead had missed half last season due to injury, and his replacement, James Hurst, played pretty well. With the addition of 2022 first-round draft pick Trevor Penning, the Saints’ offense should not miss a beat. Even though Penning is not ready to come in and start immediately, he can earn that spot by the middle of the season.
Got worse: Safety
The Saints’ safety position has gone through a massive overhaul. Starter, and team leader, Malcolm Jenkins called it a career after winning two Super Bowls, one with the Saints in 2009 and one with the Philadelphia Eagles. The other starting safety, Marcus Williams, signed a free-agent deal with the Baltimore Ravens. Williams had quickly become one of the better safeties in the NFL since being drafted in 2017.
The Saints did sign Tyrann Mathieu and Marcus Maye to rebuild their safety room. Both are solid players, but Mathieu is 30 and seems to have already taken a step back, and Maye is 29 and last season struggled with injuries. The new safety duo may have the same success as the previous two, but joining a new team as two older replacements may be an issue down the line.
The Saints did address the issues they have had over the last few seasons with wide receiver talent, but it was a little too late with Brees already retired. Jenkins retiring changed the safety room, and with the Saints’ cap-space issues, the replacements had to be on the lower side of the pay scale.
New Orleans Saints Schedule:
- Week 1: 9/11 at Falcons, 1 PM, Fox
- Week 2: 9/18 vs. Buccaneers, 1 PM, Fox
- Week 3: 9/25 at Panthers, 1 PM, Fox
- Week 4: 10/2 vs. Vikings (Tottenham), 9:30 AM, NFL Network
- Week 5: 10/9 vs. Seahawks, 1 PM, Fox
- Week 6: 10/16 vs. Bengals, 1 PM, CBS
- Week 7: 10/20 at Cardinals (Thursday), 8:15 PM, Amazon Prime Video
- Week 8: 10/30 vs. Raiders, 1 PM, CBS
- Week 9: 11/7 vs. Ravens (Monday), 8:15 PM, ESPN
- Week 10: 11/13 at Steelers, 1 PM, Fox
- Week 11: 11/20 at Rams, 1 PM, Fox
- Week 12: 11/27 at 49ers, 4:25 PM, Fox
- Week 13: 12/5 at Buccaneers (Monday), 8:15 PM, ESPN
- Week 14: BYE
- Week 15: 12/18 vs. Falcons, TBD, TBD
- Week 16: 12/24 at Browns (Saturday), 1 PM, CBS
- Week 17: 1/1 at Eagles, 1 PM, Fox
- Week 18: 1/8 vs. Panthers, TBD, TBD