As many know by now, the New Orleans Saints just signed linebacker Kiko Alonso on yesterday. After Kiko was not spotted at practice today, which was his first chance to show up, he announced his retirement per multiple sources. This news was first reported by Brooke Kirchhofer, then confirmed by Nick Underhill.
Kiko Alonso has retired, per source.— Brooke Kirchhofer (@brookechesney) August 6, 2022
The #Saints brought him in for one training camp practice, after playing the 2019 season in New Orleans. He’s decided to hang it up after 6 seasons in the #NFL @WWLTV
The reason for his retirement is likely due to his age in combination with his injury history, at 32 years old and not being able to play the last 2 seasons. Katherine Terrell of ESPN states that his retirement was a personal decision, and not due to any current injuries. Alonso suffered a grade 3 ACL tear in the Saints playoff loss against the Minnesota Vikings in 2020 (2019 season) and would struggle to stick to a roster since then. There was a chance the Saints would have kept him as a camp body and potentially depth into the season, however with this news, they are now down a linebacker.
So, where does this leave the Saints in terms of the LB position? They have the two obvious starters in Demario Davis and Pete Werner, clear locks for the roster. You have Zack Baun, who is essentially a special teamer at this point as he has not proven a ton. Then you have the camp bodies, such as Eric Wilson, Andrew Dowell, Kaden Elliss, Isaiah Pryor, and D’Marco Jackson. The most notable two names to fans will be Kaden Elliss, a yearly camp standout who seems to get better each year, and D’Marco Jackson, 5th round pick this year by the Saints. Jackson is currently recovering from an undisclosed injury, so he will be off the field momentarily, and Elliss has been showing flashes per usual.
The Saints have also recently worked out multiple other linebackers, two of which were on the same day as they worked out Kiko. 3 of those players which have been announced so far were Anthony Hitchens, Jon Bostic, and Joe Schobert. You also have the option to bring back A.J. Klein, who was formerly on the Saints for 3 seasons and was a solid contributor, who is currently a free agent. Regardless, we can expect the Saints to be bringing in multiple more tryouts in the coming weeks to see if any fill the need at LB.