Now that Sean Payton is retired/quit from the Saints, rumors are already starting about Chiefs OC Eric Bienemy going to New Orleans.
The main beneficiary I can see from this would be Jameis Winston, assuming he stays in New Orleans. Considering what Bienemy did with Mahomes rifle arm, I can only imagine what could come with Winston’s RPG arm.
That said, the Saints still need some receivers, regardless of who is under center.
The Saints have a ton of problems:
Their defense was lackluster.
Their o-line was slightly worse.
The only skill position player they have is Alvin Kamara.
Who will be 27 this summer, which is the time when RBs start regressing.
They have no QB.
They have no WRs.
They have no good TEs.
They are dead last on the cap tracker ranking.
They traded away two 2022 picks.
So they have an ageing superstar, a ton of positional needs, -$75m negative cap space and are lacking a few picks.
If the NFL was a dynasty fantasy league, the Saints would be the team where the owner doesn’t show up for next season, and the commish will struggle mightily to find a new one.
The Saints beat the Bucs twice this year, even without their starting QB. While they need help, they aren’t terrible. But the future prospects are bleak.
Admittedly, this could be why Sean Payton walked. And this could be why Bienemy will not likely go here. But Bienemy with Winston is still an intriguing idea, regardless…
Their defence is good, but didn’t always live up to expectations, either. Shutting out the Bucs was great. Getting a fourty burger from the Eagles - not so much.
Anyway, their 2021 season was still okay, considering how many key players they lost to injuries. It’s their 2022 season I’m concerned about. They have a lot of contract restructuring to do, as the only player they can cut to save some money is CB Bradley Robey. That would save them $10m. Still $65m to go then.
Michael Thomas’ cap hit is $24.7m. I doubt they will find another team willing to take his contract. Worst case, the Saints will have to take the $22.7m dead cap and cut him loose.
I get the appeal of pairing Bienemy with Winston. Still not sure if I’d be bullish about the Saints next season. Might be one with a losing record.
Your points are very valid, and probably why Payton chose to “retire” at this time. He read the writing on the wall, and knew he was in a no-win situation. This could also be why Bienemy might choose to look elsewhere for opportunities.