The New Orleans Saints just had their worst season since the 2016 7-9 season, but executive vice president and general manager Mickey Loomis plans to move a franchise-only coach to the former.
Although Dennis Allen, the Saints’ defensive coordinator turned head coach, led New Orleans to a 7-10 record in his first season at the helm, they won three of the last four to stay in the middle of a lackluster NFC South until the penultimate week of the season, with Loomis starting preach the same dedication to stability that played a role in promoting Allen from within.
“One of the things we’ve had for us over the last 15 years, or whatever it was, is stability,” Loomis told reporters Friday via ESPN. “I think that’s a commodity that’s hard to come by in the NFL. So we were looking for stability, and that of course starts with ownership, a GM and head coach, and having a core group of players that you nurture and develop. That’s the approach anyway, that’s the process, and that’s what we believe in, so I expect that to continue.
With Loomis backing, it appears Allen will stay for a second year.
Without a doubt, challenges lie ahead for Loomis, Allen and the Saints. New Orleans enters the off-season with the worst in the league, and with a trade to the Eagles, they have no choice in the first round of 2023. The team is currently spending $271.3 million for 2023, according to Over the Cap. Although NFL Network Insiders Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero reported in December that the league’s new salary cap could potentially exceed $220 million, that would still leave a lot of hypothetical work to be done.
There’s also no clear answer to the quarterback, and while the defense ranks in the top 10 for points and yards allowed for the third straight season, cornerstones like Demario Davis and Cameron Jordan will feature 34 in next year’s prep camp.
Of course, one huge option to bring an influx of cheap talent to the roster is just around the corner.
Former head coach Sean Payton, who left the club after the 2021 season but is still contractually controlled by the Saints until the 2024 season, has played a large part in the latest coaching cycle.
The Cardinals, the Broncos and the Texans asked him for interviews. Loomis has no intention of standing in the way of Payton moving to another organization, but he has made it clear that he expects value – draft or otherwise – if he allows the franchise’s top coach to take over another team.
“I want the best for him,” said Loomis. “Yes. We do it as an organization. He gave everything the New Orleans Saints could give and took us to heights that the organization and team had never before achieved. So I absolutely want the best for him. we also recognize that he is a valuable asset, his contract is a valuable asset for our club and it is our duty to maximize that. Look, I think between the point guard and the head coach, no one has more of a winning impact than these two guys in any game, so I know what he brings to the table and I know that’s really valuable. It is our responsibility to maximize that value if he decides to train again within the time frame where we have these rights.
The heights Payton has taken the organization to – its first-ever Super Bowl win in 2009, plus a record of 152-89, seven NFC South crowns, and nine offseason trips in 15 seasons – speaks positively of the compensation New Orleans can get to count. for him.
“We haven’t yet determined exactly what the compensation will be,” Loomis said of the teams interested in Payton. “They know full well that there will be compensation.”
Regardless of the final price, one thing remains clear: when Allen returns for 2023, the head coach who helped lead New Orleans to the franchise’s longest period of success will likely be partly responsible for the building blocks available in the Saints’ mission to usher in their next great era .