METAIRIE, La. — When the New Orleans Saints signed former LSU security and native icon Tyrann Mathieu final week, I wrote that it’s not usually a workforce makes its largest splash of the offseason in Could.
Properly, they simply did it once more with Friday’s information that they’re including former Cleveland Browns extensive receiver Jarvis Landry — one other former LSU star and Southern Louisiana native who fills a giant want.
Followers round New Orleans have lamented for years that the Saints don’t signal or draft sufficient expertise from close by LSU. Now, all of the sudden, they’ve added two of probably the most dynamic former Tigers of all time.
@God_Son80 let’s do it like outdated instances Soulja
— Tyrann Mathieu (@Mathieu_Era) May 13, 2022
Extra importantly, the Saints have shored up two of probably the most evident weaknesses on a roster that now looks like an authorized playoff contender, regardless of the lack of coach Sean Payton, left sort out Terron Armstead and safeties Marcus Williams and Malcolm Jenkins.
Landry, 29, nearly looks like a luxurious for a Saints workforce that can be getting No. 1 receiver Michael Thomas again from an ankle damage and simply made a pair of aggressive trades to land Ohio State extensive receiver Chris Olave with the eleventh choose within the draft simply two weeks in the past.
However there will likely be room for all three receivers, contemplating how gargantuan the necessity was for an improved receiving corps in New Orleans.
The Saints completed final within the NFL in passing yards in 2021 (187.4 per recreation) – largely due to accidents. Not solely did Thomas miss the whole season, however quarterback Jameis Winston missed the ultimate 10 video games with a torn ACL, and the highest 4 offensive linemen missed a mixed 32 video games.
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Final 12 months’s prime three extensive receivers – Tre’Quan Smith, Marquez Callaway and Deonte Harty – now mission because the fourth, fifth and sixth receivers.
The Saints nonetheless went 9-8 final season and barely missed the playoffs regardless of setting a NFL document with 58 totally different starters used, together with 4 totally different quarterbacks. They did so on the energy of Dennis Allen’s protection. Allen, who was promoted from defensive coordinator to move coach this offseason, led a protection that completed fourth in factors allowed (19.7 per recreation) and seventh in yards allowed (318.2).
Now they need to have a resurgent offense to pair with it.
Landry is coming off the least efficient season of his profession, thanks largely to a knee sprain that he suffered in Week 2 that sidelined him for 4 video games. He completed with profession lows of 52 catches, 570 yards and two touchdowns, and the Browns determined to improve with a commerce for Amari Cooper this offseason.
Landry’s numbers additionally dipped a bit in 2020 (72-840-3) after he had made the Professional Bowl in 5 straight seasons with the Miami Dolphins and Browns from 2015 to 2019.
However the Saints don’t want Landry to be a No. 1 with this all of the sudden loaded trio of receivers. He ought to instantly change into their best choice within the slot – the place he has lined up for practically two-thirds of his NFL profession as a flexible inside/exterior possibility. And he brings one other dependable veteran presence to an offense that struggled to get receivers open final 12 months.
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The 5-foot-11, 196-pounder already ranks 59th in NFL historical past with 688 profession receptions, in line with Professional Soccer Reference, and he additionally has 7,598 yards and 37 touchdowns.
The additions to the receiving corp, together with the return of Thomas, ought to put Winston in a significantly better place to thrive in his second season as New Orleans’ beginning quarterback.