Saints face tough questions in very near future as season slips away

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Dennis Allen
(Photo: Parker Waters)

They are a model franchise. They have stable ownership. The club’s general manager has worked for the organization for years.

And this season, the Pittsburgh Steelers decided to take a step back.

One selection after the Saints drafted offensive tackle Trevor Penning, the Steelers selected quarterback Kenny Pickett with the 20th pick.

Then before the trade deadline, Pittsburgh traded its most gifted receiver, Chase Claypool, to the Bears for a second round pick in next year’s draft.

The Steelers and the Saints, after last week’s Pittsburgh victory over New Orleans, each have three victories.

But who has the better future?

The Steelers have their 2023 first round pick and a pair of second rounders, theirs and Chicago’s. Potentially, Pittsburgh could have three of the first 40 picks in next year’s draft.

The Saints don’t have their first round pick (traded to Philadelphia) while in 2024, New Orleans has already traded its second round selection.

So, like the Steelers have done, should the Saints start to rebuild?

Do they use any number one pick acquired in a trade involving former head coach Sean Payton to draft a quarterback?

Or do they decide to rummage through veteran NFL arms to find a bridge quarterback, until they can find their next franchise signal caller?

Plus, if the Saints somehow finish with six wins or less, does the club even consider moving on from head coach Dennis Allen after one season?

These are some of the questions general manager Mickey Loomis must ponder as the 2022 season looks cloudy at best, dismal at worst.

The Vikings and Dolphins each made coaching changing, and both franchises are flourishing. Both of those young coaches have excellent quarterbacks, a luxury Allen does not have.

And when you look at the Saints roster, it suddenly doesn’t look nearly as imposing.

Next season, Demario Davis and Cam Jordan will both 34. Alvin Kamara will be in his 7th NFL season.

Just how many “keepers” does the club really have.

On offense, wide Chris Olave and Ryan Ramczyk, and Kamara?

On defense, other than Davis and Jordan, maybe Marshon Lattimore, and Pete Werner? Perhaps Marcus Davenport?

As criticism of Allen mounts with every defeat, here’s the God’s honest truth. Sean Payton had impeccable timing.

He could see that future at quarterback was murky at best. He could see that the future period was a big black and gold question mark.

You can’t blame him from not wanting to be here when the time came to blow the whole thing up.

Which is now.

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Ed Daniels

WGNO Sports Director/106.1 FM

Ed is a New Orleans native, born at Baptist Hospital. He graduated Rummel High School, class of 1975, and subsequently graduated from Loyola University. Ed started in TV in 1977 as first sports intern at WVUE Channel 8. He became Sports Director at KPLC TV Channel 7 in Lake Charles in 1980. In 1982 he was hired as sports reporter…

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