This was quickly followed by a denial from Nick Underhill of the Advocate and Josh Katzenstein of the Times-Picayune, who each said that Decker is not scheduled to visit. Jhabvala initially stood by her source’s testimony, until Saints head coach Sean Payton stepped in with a firm admonishment:
Bad sources.— Sean Payton (@SeanPayton) March 20, 2018
Yikes. For her part, Jhabvala apologized for the dustup, if her source was misinformed. Payton then told her to “remove the if”. I’m not sure how Jhabvala has earned Payton’s ire (or if, by extension, he’s got beef with Decker? Who knows?) but this was brutal to watch unfold.
This connection would have made sense for a couple of reasons. The Saints weren’t able to court former Green Bay Packers wideout Jordy Nelson from the Oakland Raiders last week, and Decker has some similarities to his game. They’re both experienced pass-catchers over 30 who figure to make their biggest contributions from the slot. Decker had a down year in 2017, slow to regain form after shoulder and hip surgeries. But he finished strong and led the Titans with 85 yards, catching six of seven passes in their playoffs exit against the New England Patriots.
Personally, I wanted to believe that the news was true - in much the same way I want to believe the Golden State Warriors won’t be winning another title this year, but I know I’ll be disappointed. The Saints are an ailment to Michael Thomas away from fielding football’s worst collection of pass catchers. They haven’t even re-signed Brandon Coleman, y’all.
So what’s the lesson in all this? Vet your sources, and don’t cross Sean Payton, apparently.