The New Orleans Saints for several reasons have become associated with quarterback Paxton Lynch in the past few weeks although they drafted Garrett Grayson last year with their third round pick.
One of those to start with was that they actually brought the former Memphis Tiger in for a visit to do some in-depth background homework.
This of course was blown into the speculation stratosphere that due to “stalled” contract extension talks between Brees and the Saints, that they maybe were going to go ahead and “look to the future” if this truly was his last year with the team.
Another reason it that he is expected to go somewhere within that area due to the lack of skilled quarterbacks left in the draft following the assumed selections of Jared Goff and Carson Wentz by the L.A. Rams and Philadelphia Eagles who hold the first two overall picks in the draft respectively.
While some fans are grinding their teeth praying the Saints aren’t seriously considering taking Lynch with their twelfth overall pick in the first round, the overwhelming feeling is that it’s a ruse or smokescreen to cause other teams to jump and invoke a trade.
Nov 14, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Memphis Tigers quarterback Paxton Lynch (12) prepares to throw the ball during the third quarter against the Houston Cougars at TDECU Stadium. The Cougars won 35-34. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
At the beginning of the draft process Lynch’s value wasn’t that high and garnered more of a late first round grade at best, but that has changed as the weeks went on and a quarterback like Wentz who was thought of in the same manner has suddenly shot up to a top two pick likewise causing Lynch to do the same.
More from Editorials
- Pelicans PG Jrue Holiday Poised For Career-Defining Season
- GRADES: Pelicans Make their Mark on 2016 Draft
- Different Year, Same Questions for QB Harris and LSU
- How Danny Ferry Can Reverse Course on the Pelicans’ Future
- Saints Need to Avoid Being “Sucker Punched” in 2016
Bleacher Report’s Jason Cole recently posted a video saying that a team like the New York Jets or the Buffalo Bills are “extremely interested” in Lynch and would likely have to trade up possibly even into the top 10.
Buffalo currently sits with the nineteenth overall pick in the first round followed by the Jets at twentieth overall so it would be a considerable jump and cost some ammo.
The Jets have been mentioned in the same sentence with the Saints in regards to this trade scenario in part to New York being unable to reach a long-term deal with veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and his return status being up in the air as he searches for what’s reportedly some big money following the deal the Houston Texans gave Brock Osweiler.
Nov 29, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson (96) reacts to the crowd in the second half of the Jets 38-20 victory over the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports
Also the mention of Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson being used as trade bait to the defensive needy Saints could be an appealing offer although there’s the issue that New Orleans would need to sign him to a long-term deal due to him currently being franchised tagged and his fit would have to be right since he’d likely have to transition to a defensive tackle in the Saints assumed 4-3 scheme under defensive coordinator Dennis Allen.
The Bills make some sense as well considering that right now the only two quarterbacks on their roster are E.J. Manuel and Tyrod Taylor with both seeming more suited for backup duties than your Day 1 starter.
Cole also mentioned that the Cleveland Browns could possibly trade down in the first round to possibly grab Lynch making the Saints once again a possible partner.
The Browns who currently have the eight overall pick could be tempting for the Saints considering that although someone like pass rusher Shaq Lawson might be available, there is some thought that he could get taken a few picks before #12 and they would suffer what I’ll refer to as getting “Danny Shelton-ed” from the 2015 draft.
Jan 12, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Oregon Ducks defensive lineman DeForest Buckner (44) in game action against the Ohio State Buckeyes in the 2015 CFP National Championship Game at AT&T Stadium. Ohio State won 42-20. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
It would also open up the potential to grab another defensive end such as DeForest Bucker or even linebacker Myles Jack if they fell to the eight overall pick.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that the Saints allegedly explored the idea of trading up to the first overall pick but once again this might be just a method to garner interest from other teams who feel New Orleans might be serious about taking Lynch and get their phone ringing for a trade.
I guess we’ll all see when the smokescreen clears beginning on Thursday night…