Saints huddle: Forecasting the offseason game plan and what moves should be made

The New Orleans Saints finished their turbulent 2021 season at 9-8 and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2016. It was an emotionally-draining roller-coaster ride for everyone involved: players; coaches; fans; and media.

In today’s second installment of our Saints roundtable discussion, beat writers Amie Just and Luke Johnson and columnists Jeff Duncan and Rod Walker preview the offseason and forecast what the team’s game plan might be for free agency and the NFL Draft:

There are rumors about Sean Payton’s status in New Orleans, that rival teams could be interested in wooing him away. How valid is the speculation? And is there reason for concern?

Jeff Duncan: I can’t see Sean Payton leaving for another job. He knows he has a unique and enviable situation in New Orleans. So it wouldn’t make sense to bolt for another market. The only way I’d see him leaving is if he just felt burned out and wanted to take some time away from the game and recharge his batteries. Otherwise, I’m confident he’ll be coaching in New Orleans in 2022.

Luke Johnson: No concern, whatsoever. Maybe you could talk me into it if there’d been any visible cracks in the foundation lately, but I’ve seen none of that in this organization.

Amie Just: Sean Payton’s one of the highest paid coaches in professional sports. Not that that’s the only driving factor, but there’s no incentive to leave. This is his team.…

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