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Led by the other 40+-year-old NFL quarterback Drew Brees, the 2019-20 New Orleans Saints are making enough offseason headway to fill their roster that was hit with retirements and departures this offseason.
The Saints have been in the NFC top team conversation for the last two seasons, but have yet to relive the glory they felt a decade ago when, under the same leadership, they held the Lombardi Trophy high, though last season the chance to hold it again was kept from them through no fault of their own.
With a roster behind him that appears to be as balanced as ever, Brees will take another shot at NFL glory with a few new targets and a beefed-up defense, and we check out what moves they’ve made this offseason and take a look at the odds and predictions of their 2019-20 season. If you reside in New Jersey and want to place bets, check out our guide for future bets.
If you watched the playoffs last season, then you already know that the 2018 New Orleans Saints came within a single missed pass interference call from going to the Super Bowl.
For more about the referee’s missed call that caused the NFL to change their stance on reviewing pass interference, you can check out our coverage here: Did Refs’ Big No-Call Cost New Orleans Saints the Super Bowl? and here: NFL Makes Pass Interference Calls and No-Calls Reviewable in 2019 – Week 1 Odds and Predictions
But if you put the missed rings and no Lombardi Trophy aside, Brees and his Saints had as good a year as you can have in the NFL, winning the NFC South by posting a 13-3 record and getting to the postseason for the second season in a row.
Of course, Brees is getting older and in January joined New England Patriot quarterback Tom Brady (and less than two dozen former NFL quarterbacks) in the forty-and-over-but-still-kicking club, so the team needs to go the distance soon if Brees is to be the one to take them there.
Since the Saints have no picks in the first or third rounds of the upcoming draft, they’ve had to turn their eye to free agency, and they’ve been successful in filling some of their biggest needs, including at tight end, center and defensive tackle (see below).
It looks like they will continue their one-two punch type of running attack, bringing in Latavius Murray from the Minnesota Vikings to fill in the gap left by the departing Mark Ingram.
Payton and Brees already have one Super Bowl together but that was a decade ago and since they’ve been to the postseason five times, so their overall strategy will most likely be more of the same – a high-scoring offense with a defense good enough to usually keep opponents to fewer points than them.
Center Max Unger, who retired after ten seasons in the NFL, his last one, 2018, ending with his third trip to the Pro Bowl, his first with the Saints.
Running back Mark Ingram, who signed a three-year, $15 million contract with the Baltimore Ravens last month after eight seasons in New Orleans and 1,321 total carries for 6,007 yards and 50 touchdowns while catching 228 passes for 1,598 yards and 5 touchdowns.
Defensive end Alex Okafor, who signed a three-year deal with the Chiefs for $18 million after recording 36 tackles and four sacks in the sixteen games he started for the Saints in 2018.
Tight end Ben Watson, who retired after 15 seasons in the NFL.
Tight end Jared Cook, who the Saints are hoping will fill the gap left by the retired Watson, and his 2018 numbers with the Oakland Raiders make him seem capable of doing that, having caught 68 balls for 896 yards and 6 touchdowns.
Defensive tackle Malcolm Brown, who last season with the Patriots posted 39 tackles, a quarterback hit and a fumble recovery in the fifteen games he played.
Running back Latavius Murray, who signed a four-year, $14.4 million contract after a so-so season in Minnesota where he had 162 touches and 719 total yards from scrimmage with 6 touchdowns.
Center/guard Nick Easton, who missed last season due to a neck injury he suffered in training camp and just scored a four-year, $24 million contract to fill the void left by Unger.
Wide receiver, Offensive Guard
Linebacker, Safety, Defensive Tackle,
The Saints have 6 picks in the 2019 NFL Draft, and they are:
Since the 2009 season, New Orleans has been to the postseason six times, with one of the trips ending up with the Super Bowl XLIV victory against the Indianapolis Colts in 2009 by a score of 31-17.
Of the other five postseason runs, one ended in the Wild Card Playoffs, three ended in the Divisional Championship, and the latest one last season ended in overtime in the NFC Championship game to the Los Angeles Rams, 23-26.
Their Super Bowl victory against the Colts was the only time New Orleans has been to the big game in the history of the franchise, and since Payton was the head coach back then and Brees was the Super Bowl MVP, Saints fans are hoping that duo still has at least one more ring in them before Brees will have to inevitably face retirement.
The New Orleans Saints are predicted to be the NFC team to beat in 2019, based on general manager Mickey Loomis’ ability to maintain the Saints’ well-balanced roster despite a few important departures.
ESPN predicts the Saints will go 13-3 again, their writer calling them “arguably the most complete team in the league on paper.”
It truly depends on whether Brees can maintain his high level of play for that many games, but regardless of whether you think he slowed down towards the end of the regular season, the crafty old veteran brought his 2018 team to the Super Bowl until the referee made the decision with his no-call not to let them have it.
The story is complicated, but the current owner, Gayle Benson, is the widow of Tom Benson, who died last March and owned the Saints and the New Orleans Pelicans in the NBA.
Benson left his money and his pro sports teams to his third wife, Gayle, but his daughter and grandchildren disputed whether Tom was mentally competent enough to make that decision.
The situation was settled while Tom was still alive in early 2017, with the daughter and grandchildren receiving a confidential settlement and Gayle keeping both of the teams.
One look at the odds will tell you that chances are the New Orleans Saints will see the playoffs at the end of the 2019 regular season, and they look pretty good to win the NFC Championship, too.
The big question at the end of the NFL regular season will be, as always, whether the best of the NFC – be it the Saints or the Rams or whomever – is better than the best of the AFC – meaning the Patriots or the Chiefs or even (if the hype is to be believed) the Baker Mayfield / Odell Beckham / Jarvis Landry / Nick Chubb Cleveland Browns.
Regardless, count on Brees and his Saints to find a way back to the Promised Land once again so that the old man can retire with yet one more reason to be a Hall of Fame first balloter.
Keep in mind odds tend to change daily and differ from site to site, so do yourself a favor and check around for the very latest and highest odds whenever you decide to place your wagers.
If you live in New Jersey and want to bet on futures in NFL you can do so at one of these sportsbooks:
|Betting Site||Bonus||Rating||Bet Now|
|DraftKings||UP TO $500 FREE BET*||9.1/10|
|BetStars||UP TO $500 RISK FREE BET||9.2/10|
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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