After what many would agree has been a lackluster, disappointing, and sometimes unwatchable start to the season for the New Orleans Saints. Sitting at 3-6 and still being alive in the NFC South division race sums up how the season has felt for a lot of fans so far. There tons of directions this team could go in the offseason so let's take a look at some of the big headlines through the first 9 weeks and see what some of the overreactions are.
Dennis Allen and the entire coaching staff can go after the season: Overreaction (But at the same time, not an overreaction)
Before I get into Allen and the coaching staff let me first say pretty much any head coaching gig in the NFL has a relatively short life span if you are not having immediate success. This case is unique compared to other new coaches because the Saints and Sean Payton chose Allen to take over for Payton to keep the staff together and the system the same for the players. So far, the coaching staff is the number one reason the Saints are where they are. You can have the meat, sauce, cheese, and all the seasonings for a great lasagna, however if you don’t have the pasta to keep all of that together you just have a bunch of ingredients and a big ole mess. Pete Carmichael has done a subpar job getting this offense going with stale play calling and at times questionable usage of his best players, meanwhile the idea of Ryan Nielsen and Kris Richard have been okay at best considering the injuries and lack of pass rush. Allen just lacks the fire and spark Sean Payton brought to the team, and there seems to be a lack of accountability when it comes to player errors. Having said that, the Saints could easily hold onto Allen for another season and give it another go.
The defense needs an overhaul at some positions: Not an overreaction
The defense for the New Orleans Saints has been a mixed bag so far through the season. They’ve had some bright spots this season like against the Raiders and Ravens this past Monday night. However, they have had some rough games including games against the Cardinals, Bengals, and the Falcons. Statistically they rank near the bottom in turnovers, scoring defense, and sit at just league average with sacks. When I look at this defense they have some nice young pieces like Taylor, Werner, and Payton Turner who has had a nice streak. With veterans Cam Jordan, Demario Davis, and Marshon Lattimore, this defense might just be a defensive tackle and another defensive back away from getting back to where they were in seasons past.
The Saints should look to trade or release Michael Thomas: Overreaction
This might be the one that catches the most attention. That being said I don’t believe trading or cutting Michael Thomas is written on the wall quite yet, truthfully the team just might not be able too. Thomas’s contract numbers are pretty staggering when you consider in 2023 and 2024 cap numbers are $28.263 & $27.513 million over the next two seasons along with a dead cap of $11.813 million if you try to cut or trade Thomas and make it a post June 1st move, not to mention by the time you make that official the offseason is basically over, and you are scraping the bottom of the barrel for free agents. Trying to find a trade partner for a wide receiver who hasn’t essentially played in 3 years and still wanting something would not be worth it either considering you will have to eat a good portion of that money anyways. All in all, the best move might be to convince Thomas to restructure his contract and allow him to earn his money back through incentives. If the Saints were to find a quarterback in the offseason like Derek Carr or a Jimmy Garoppolo who is an upgrade over Winston and Dalton and could make you competitive in what could be a wide-open NFC next season banking on Michael Thomas to stay healthy and make an impact might be a move worth risking.
Make sure you follow Canal Street Chronicles on Twitter at @SaintsCSC, “Like” us on Facebook at Canal Street Chronicles, follow us on Instagram at @SaintsCSC and make sure you’re subscribed to our new YouTube channel. You can also give my Twitter page a follow as well @AlecSalas09