In case no one has told you, I appreciate each and everyone of you who are washing your hands for at least 20 seconds, staying at home as much as possible and keeping six feet away from other folks when you’re out for your walks. Is it a bummer that we have to do this? Yes. Is it necessary? Hell yes.
While we’re all being good kids and staying home, the NFL world keeps turning. Here is the latest news on your favorite team in the whole wide world, the New Orleans Saints.
Saints Stuff! Yeah!
The world has slowed down, but the New Orleans Saints haven’t rested. In the past days, they’ve re-signed Drew Brees, Andrus Peat and David Onyemata. Brees could have easily demanded more, so it’s nice to see him take a little less (I also look forward to being applauded for taking $25 million a year one day) to give the team a better shot at winning it all.
The team watched Teddy Bridgewater (5-0 as a Saints starter) go to the Carolina Panthers. It should be a great scene when Teddy returns to the Dome for the first time. Vonn Bell went to the Cincinnati Bengals. Eli Apple went to the Las Vegas Raiders. A.J. Klein signed with the Buffalo Bills.
The Saints added spice to the mix by bringing back Malcolm Jenkins. Coach Sean Payton has always said he wished the Saints didn’t let Jenkins go via free agency in 2014. It could be an interesting last act for the 32-year-old who becomes the 111th Ohio State player to sign with the Saints in the last few years. The club also gave Janoris Jenkins a two-year extension. The Saints signed Deatrick Nichols from the XFL’s Houston Roughnecks. Nichols had a solid campaign with that club, recording three interceptions and a fumble recovery in just five games. Nichols will play a ton of special teams next year.
The Saints defensive backfield has transformed into a perfect mix of veterans and youngsters. The two Jenkins and Patrick Robinson all have at least eight years experience. On the flip side, the Saints have Marshon Lattimore, former Rookie of the Year and current All-Pro, entering his fourth season along with safety Marcus Williams. Last year’s rookie standout C.J Gardner-Johnson enters his second year. It’s a ton of talent in the defensive backfield. The Saints will return with a defense that is one of the best in the league and seems one linebacker away (or one healthy Alex Anzalone?) from being absolutely dominant.
The Saints, after a season in which no one stepped up to take the number two spot in the wide receiving corps opposite Michael Thomas, signed the San Francisco 49’ers Emmanuel Sanders. The 33-year-old veteran has recorded six seasons with 60-plus catches and has appeared in three Super Bowls (with three different teams). He could be just what the doctor ordered.
The Saints placed a first-round tender on Taysom Hill, pretty much insuring that he’ll be back in Black and Gold next year. He’ll enter camp, whenever that is, as the back up quarterback to Brees. With that said, even though they’ll never walk into another Teddy-like deal, it would be great to see the Saints add a veteran quarterback via free agency.
At this time, the NFL Draft is still scheduled to begin April 23. Unlike a billion other writers on the internet, I don’t pretend to be able to forecast what will happen (I absolutely dread mock drafts), but, as mentioned, it would be great to pick up a young linebacker and wide receiver. I also never hate additional help on both lines.
And like a fine wine with a steak dinner, every game should be accompanied by a beverage and song.
Beer Pairing: New Orleans Breweries that are offering To-Go and Curbside Pickup
Playlist Recommendation: Tom Petty – “Don’t Come Around Here No More”
Around the Way
A special shout out to a man that doesn’t need one but I just wanted to note how awesome it is to see Drew and Brittany Brees donate $5 million to fight hunger in Louisiana.
To quote the legend from his Instagram post – “Brittany and I are committing $5,000,000 to the State of Louisiana in 2020. The priority now is helping our communities get through this tough time. After considerable research and conversations with local organizations, we will be mobilizing our partnerships with Second Harvest Food Bank, Ochsner Health Systems, Walk-Ons, Jimmy Johns, Smalls Sliders and Waitr to prepare and deliver over 10,000 meals per day throughout Louisiana for as long as it takes to help children on meal programs, seniors, and families in need. Let’s all do our part, maintain hope, and get through this together.”
This beautiful gesture prompted this tearful response from former WWLTV Channel 4 anchor and current NBC “Today Show” host, Hoda Kotb. I hate to hit you in the feels right before signing off but she made me get teary-eyed so now you have to deal with it, pal.
Keep a smile on your face, New Orleans. They can talk about you but they can never be you! Keep up the good fight, brothers and sisters.