The 2018 Saints season is currently in good position as they take advantage of a well-earned first round bye in the playoffs. Projecting the future, there could be many changes when looking at the roster. As much as most fans would like to keep most of the current players, there will be hellos and goodbyes. Being in the hunt for a Super Bowl ring; succeeding or failing could make a huge difference in what happens after in personnel decisions.
Seems like an article cannot be written by the All Saints Considered gang without mentioning Drew Brees, so guess I can get that out of the way. Drew signed a team friendly two-year contract last year that was intended to help the Saints obtain players in a win now effort for the 2018 & 2019 seasons. Haven’t heard from Drew in regards to his plans, so this is just all speculation. Drew is at the age where retirement is discussed constantly. With the team on the hunt for a Super Bowl, that could be his determining factor if he wants to finish out his contract. Being a team friendly contract gives the idea that it may not be about money anymore for him. He has taken down a plethora of individual stats, but I think the second Super Bowl ring is where his mind is set. Most people like to go out on top with a championship or good season like John Elway and not stick around struggling because father time starts catching up. A Super Bowl could mean the end of a legendary career, while coming up short could mean one more year of tuning into to see #9 leading the Saints. Hopefully he can go out on top in the 2018-2019 season if that’s what he chooses to do.
Veteran favorite Mark Ingram is set to be an unrestricted free agent after this season. His future will probably come down to how much Mark wants to get paid and if the Saints are willing to pay it. It would be a hard day to see the brotherly relationship between Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara split up.They create good team chemistry for the offense and complement each other very well. Being a business, I find it hard to see them investing too much in one position seeing Alvin has pretty much earned a big pay day when his time comes.
Teddy “Two Gloves” Bridgewater is another question going into the offseason. He is in position to be the next in line as Drew Brees’s successor. If Drew does return next year, Teddy will be a popular name on the free agent market. If the Saints want to keep him, they need to get him signed before free agency opens up. He also needs to decide if he is willing to play backup for another season or compete for a starting job elsewhere.
Two other players who may or not be on the Saints roster next year are linebackers Manti Te’o and Craig Robertson. Both are in a similar position where they have been able to provide positive plays on defense, but because of the linebacker depth they may not get on the field as much or even dress for games. There are many teams that could be looking for quality instinctive linebackers. I’d love for them to stay, but would be a big fan of them where ever than land next that isn’t in Atlanta, Tampa Bay, or Carolina.
There will be many questions to answer in the next few months and summer. Free Agency can excite or disappoint; hopefully a Super Bowl can trump any disappointment. Happy playoff bye week whodat!!!!!!