This is not a rebuild
I repeat: this is not a rebuild.
This is what works New Orleans Saints General Manager Micky Loomis said that in the past two suspensions despite the loss Drew Press to retire After the 2020 season and then Coach Sean Payton lost after the 2021 season.
“I think our team feels confident in our ability, but there are many variables that go into the season,” Loomis said At the beginning of the training camp this year. “But we are not a rebuild. This is not a rebuild, I think is the best way to describe it. Yes, we think we can win now.”
He proved this inappropriate by circumventing the traditional shred list strategy.
Instead of trading the main assets to support the capital project, Loomis . was traded twice In the 2022 draft pick Ohio State receiver Chris Olaf with the 11th overall pick and then clinch offensive Trevor Benning in Northern Iowa with the 19th overall pick. Instead of squeezing pennies into the free agency, Loomis paid veteran players like receiver Jarvis Landry, Treasures Matthew and Marcus May, all while earning $110 million in cover space primarily by Pay the big hits to the years ahead.
Finally, Loomis didn’t go out and stake the future by acquiring a new quarterback – Although many of these offers are available out of season. He re-signed James Winston to give the position some semblance of continuity with the majority of the offensive coaching staff returning under new coach Dennis Allen, who was promoted from defensive coordinator.
With all these moves, Loomis and Saints are trying to do one of the hardest things in the NFL: a simple reboot for the crew with no middle succession plan.
It may just work.
Saints like to add, not subtract, under Loomis
One of the principles of Loomis’s list-building strategy, according to his former boss, teammate, and ex-manager Randy Muller, is to never weed out the good players. The idea is simple enough that it ensures a certain level of consistency across your roster and keeps the team at least as competitive as in years past, preventing injury or decreased production.
“He saw the work they did to get these guys. Why change course now?” Mueller told Yahoo Sports. “He just wants to add to it, which is why you see some of these engagements….And that has always been our philosophy.”
Take a look at what Saints will appear in 2022. They brought back most of the major contributors to their defense in 2021, which ended 3rd Place Defensive DVOA for Football Outsiders But he replaced safety Marcus Williams with Matthew and May. Running Back Alvin Camara is back. Recipient Michael Thomas is back and doing well. The offensive line is mostly intact except for Terron Armstead, who secured a lucrative deal with the Miami Dolphins on free agency. Winston recovered from his ACL rupture at week 8.
Loomis then added a good possession receiver in Landry and Olave dynamic injections to boost Winston’s receiving power.
Muller said: “I think they would be one of the best teams in the league, in my opinion, if they got some consistent play from the midfielder. I think they are better this year than they were last year.”
Loomis has done a complete rip before. When he replaced Mueller in 2002, Loomis replaced star returning Ricky Williams to the Miami Dolphins for four picks, including two from the first round, sent Willie Rove to the Pro Bowl to the Kansas City Chiefs, and let defensive tackle Laroy Glover run in Free agency. All in one season.
And it didn’t work.
The Saints worked at an average level for years before Loomis hired Payton and traded for Brie in 2006. That year, the Saints immediately won the division and reached the playoffs round. Loomis’ former team, the Seattle Seahawks, went off-season only four times during his 15-year tenure before following Mueller to New Orleans in 2000.
So forgive Loomis if he doesn’t want to return to the NFL franchise in the bottom half again.
James Winston is the key
The Saints didn’t have a consistent quarterback plan for a post-Brees world (though Payton Tysom Hill Experience), so Loomis is once again relying on Winston’s previous No. 1 overall pick to play well enough to keep the Saints afloat in 2022.
That’s a risky decision when you consider successful succession strategies with the Green Bay Packers (from Brett Favre to Aaron Rodgers) and Kansas City Chiefs (from Alex Smith to Patrick Mahomes), but Winston has proven more than a midfield player. Saints before his ACL rupture at the end of the season in Week 8.
He had the highest drop percentage of any quarterback during the first seven weeks of the season and had only thrown three interceptions up to that point. His passer rating of 102.4 ranked him 11th, and his yards per competition ranked him eighth. Winston’s completion and passing yardage were below average, but the Saints still held a 5-2 record before his injury.
“I don’t think they expect James to rise above the others,” Mueller said. “They just want him to be functional and understand the system and make the plays that come his way. They don’t need a hero.”
Winston initially signed a one-year deal in 2021, leaving a potential chance for the Saints to come out and promote his quarterback in the draft, free agency or on an off-season deal. Although the saints were at one point among the suitors of Deshaun Watson (who ended up 11 matches suspended Anyway), Loomis eventually decided Winston was their best option and returned his signature to a file Two-year deal. They did not target a midfielder in a draft class seen as weak or sign any other free agency such as Mitchell Trubesky or Marcus Mariota.
“They’ve rolled out their best now,” Muller said. “I don’t think the Saints are turning their backs on the future of the quarterback. They just think James is giving him the best chance this year and they’ll find out next year if he doesn’t for whatever reason.”
Is this the correct call to the saints?
There are actually three different ways to move your team forward after losing a franchise-level player, depending on ownership: complete disassembly, in which the new general manager and coaching staff dump expensive or older players for the sake of recruiting choices and reduce the salary cap; Partial teardown, where some players are swapped away but the front office and coaches stay mostly the same (think Seahawks now); Then the Saints restarted, with the same front office, roster and most of the coaching staff.
Once the Saints chose to keep Loomis and promote Allen to head coach instead of hiring an outside employee, they decided which direction would eventually tend to build an aggressive roster.
Trading in the Olave Project helped the Saints find what they believed to be the missing part of their orb. They also brought in veterans to bring shaky depth points closer across the roster. And they did not exchange key pieces that fueled their recent history.
The other issue with rebuilding right? You never know when you’re going to get out of one. Look at the New York Jets, who have missed the playoffs in 11 consecutive seasons. Or the Detroit Lions, who finally embraced a real teardown by replacing Matthew Stafford with the long-running divisional quarterback in a host of selections in 2021.
For the Saints, they felt that this was the best way forward.
“It’s the only way I would have ever thought of it,” Mueller said. “I am not surprised that they are trying to make the best team this year as possible. I think you should be all of them every year.”