It was discussed in the offseason regarding the New Orleans Saints and then eventually died down going into free agency, but now it’s back with less than a week left until the 2015 NFL Draft….
After what was called a “fire sale” following the trade of tight end Jimmy Graham to the Seattle Seahawks, rumor was Saints GM told Seahawks GM John Schneider that all players on the roster were available.
The buzz from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport even back in November of last year was that the Saints will “draft a quarterback highly this year“.
Jan 1, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Baylor Bears quarterback Bryce Petty (14) throws during the first half against the Michigan State Spartans in the 2015 Cotton Bowl Classic at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Quarterback Drew Brees laughed off rumors as the months rolled on as to trade rumors that began to be associated with his arm strength following what some believed to be a lackluster performance in 2014.
Loomis shot these rumors down pretty quickly by coming out and saying frankly “that’s just not true.”
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Now almost a month later the notion of the Saints taking a quarterback early in the draft is gaining steam after Jason Cole of Bleacher Report issued his latest story.
Cole said that in talking with “multiple sources” that the Saints are looking to move on from Brees in the next 3-4 years.
The report stated that the Saints held a private workout with quarterbacks Bryce Petty of Baylor and Garrett Grayson of Colorado State.
To add to the mix, Cole further stated that ESPN’s John Gruden who is a close friend of head coach Sean Payton has given Grayson some very high praise.
Sep 6, 2014; Boise, ID, USA; Colorado State Rams quarterback Garrett Grayson (18) during the first quarter verses the Boise State Broncos at Albertsons Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports
Lastly Cole, citing multiple sources again, said that the Saints would be using one of their picks in the first three to four rounds of the upcoming draft to select a quarterback.
While Cole said that it’s “clear” after talking to these multiple sources that the Saints are eyeing the future, it likely isn’t.
While I’m not doubting Cole’s story that the Saints worked out Petty and Grayson, I wouldn’t think they are locked into any one quarterback.
The Saints have met with or watched workouts for multiple quarterbacks since the offseason began with one big name being Florida State’s Jameis Winston.
Some other quarterbacks on the list are Alabama’s Blake Sims and Southeastern Louisiana University’s Bryan Bennett.
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The Saints actually got a close look at Bennett since they hosted S.L.U.’s Pro Day at their indoor training facility back on March 26th.
The one thing Cole is pretty accurate on is that if the Saints want to snag Petty or Grayson in the upcoming draft it will likely need to be in the early rounds.
Currently both quarterbacks are projected by experts to go somewhere in the third or fourth rounds of the draft.
Winston obviously is out of bounds with analysts saying he will be the first pick in the draft.
Sims and Bennett have been projected as going anywhere from the fifth to seventh rounds with Bennett gaining some steam as being a “sleeper” in the draft.
Jan 21, 2015; Mobile, AL, USA; South squad quarterback Bryan Bennett of Southeastern Louisiana (13) drops back to pass during Senior Bowl South squad practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Glenn Andrews-USA TODAY Sports
While the Saints do need to look at the future at quarterback, Brees is still under contract until 2017 and still playing at a high level.
I see the Saints actually reworking his contract next season to not only extend his time in New Orleans, but give the team some salary cap space as well.
In an appearance on the Dan Patrick Show Brees said that its the “prerogative” of the team if they want to draft a quarterback to compete with him.
He also said he’s been in that situation before which is in reference to when he was playing for the San Diego Chargers and they drafted Philip Rivers in the first round of the 2004 draft.
Brees would severely injure his throwing shoulder at the end of the 2005 season putting Rivers as the starter and the rest is history.
He also told Patrick that if the idea is to bring somebody into compete with him then he’s fine with that and “competition brings out the best in everybody”.
So while the frenzy of the Saints drafting a quarterback has hit the Saints once again, they won’t be feeding into it by fanning the flames….