METAIRIE, La. — New Orleans SaintsSigned by former LSU safety officer and local icon Tyrann Mathieu last week, I wrote that it’s not often a team makes its biggest splash of the offseason in May.
They just did it again with Friday night's news that they are addingFormer Cleveland BrownsWide receiver Jarvis LandryAnother former LSU star, a Southern Louisiana native, who fills a huge need.
Fans around New Orleans have lamented for years that the Saints don’t sign or draft enough talent from nearby LSU. Now, suddenly, they’ve added two of the most dynamic former Tigers of all time.
@God_Son80Let's make it Soulja style!
— Tyrann Mathieu (@Mathieu_Era) May 13, 2022
The Saints have also addressed two of the worst weaknesses on a roster now feeling like a playoff contender despite the loss to coach Sean Payton. Terron ArmsteadSafety and security Marcus WilliamsAnd Malcolm Jenkins.
Landry, at 29 almost feels like a luxury in a Saints squad that is also receiving No. 1 receiver Michael ThomasRecovering from an ankle injury, I made two aggressive trades to land an Ohio State wide receiver Chris OlaveWith the 11th selection in the draft, it was just two weeks ago.
Considering how many receivers there are, however, there will still be enough room for each of them. gargantuan the need was for an improved receiving corpsNew Orleans
The Saints finished last in the NFL in passing yards in 2021 (187.4 per game) – largely because of injuries. Thomas missed the entire season. But quarterback Jameis WinstonThe torn ACL left me unable to play in the last 10 games, while the top four offensive linemen missed 32 games.
Last year’s top three wide receivers – Tre’Quan Smith, Marquez CallawayAnd Deonte Harty – now project as the fourth, fifth and sixth receivers.
Despite being 9-8 last year, the Saints barely missed the playoffs despite having used 58 different starters including four different quarterbacks. They did so on the strength of Dennis Allen’s defense. Allen, who was promoted this offseason from defensive coordinator to head coaching, led a defense that placed fourth in total points allowed (19.7 per match) and seventh overall in total yards allowed (318.2).
You should pair it with a resurgent offense.
Landry is coming off his worst season, largely due to the knee injury he sustained in Week 2. This left him sidelined for four games. Landry finished his career with 52 catches, 570 yard and two touchdowns. The Browns traded him for an upgrade. Amari CooperThis is the offseason.
Landry’s numbers also dipped a bit in 2020 (72-840-3) after he had made the Pro Bowl in five straight seasons with the Miami DolphinsBrowns and Browns 2015-2019
But the Saints don’t need Landry to be a No. This trio of receivers is a formidable one. He should immediately become their best option in the slot – where he has lined up for nearly two-thirds of his NFL career as a versatile inside/outside option. An experienced veteran, he adds stability to an offense that struggled last year to find receivers open.
According to Pro Football Reference, the 5-foot-11 and 196-pounder ranks 59th in NFL history, with 688 career receptions. He also has 7,598 yards, 37 touchdowns and 7,598 yards.
The additions to the receiving corp, including the return of Thomas, should put Winston in a much better position to thrive in his second season as New Orleans’ starting quarterback.