The offseason has been unexpectedly mixed for the New Orleans Saints. To go further, many forecasters in the NFL media mistook them for a team that would be bad this year and suggested that the Saints take care of it and sell their good players so they could start a failed rebuild.
But the Saints did not. They have spent more money than almost any other team in the league to sign a new starting quarterback and solidify their position in the free agent market while retaining a few key players. But that wasn't enough to sway CBS Sports' Cody Benjamin, who gave the Saints a C in his 2023 off-season ratings:
No one refuses to be restored like the Saints. Young quarterback Derek Carr is a bold leader who could have a long playoff run if he has a Matthew Stafford-style All-Star organization with the Rams in 2021, which he doesn't have. By doubling down on veterans like RB Jamaal Williams and WR Michael Thomas, New Orleans is essentially buying itself another year or three of wildcard flirting.
This is kind of a bad record. The Saints have no shortage of talents. They didn't lose a single game last year because they didn't have experienced players. The biggest question and concern is their coaching staff. Dennis Allen, who scored fourth in the game, made poor decisions that resulted in no points on the board. Failures of Pete Carmichael Jr. as a caller to the game has been noted many times. The biggest problem is that both coaches will have the same role in 2023 that they tried to fill in 2022.
Tanks and maintenance crews rarely go outside. The Jets, Browns, Lions, Jaguars, Texans, Bears, and Dolphins have been wasting their fans' time for years promising to just hit rock bottom and get another #1 or #2 quarterback. In many cases, they never improved, and the coaches and general managers responsible for eviscerating and rebuilding them were fired by frustrated owners who didn't like the process as conventional wisdom suggested.
The Saints still have some work to do before they regain the confidence that fans lost last season. But again, a more pressing issue than the number of free agents they've signed or the draft moves they're making is whether decision coaches are the right people for the job. Today is the same as a year ago.
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