The New Orleans Saints are rumored to be planning a bold quarterback move, jumping up in the NFL Draft to snag Marcus Mariota and by doing so bringing an end to the Drew Brees era.
Reports indicate that the Saints may be ready to make a change at quarterback, starting over with the promising Mariota. Brees is approaching what will be the last year under contract with the Saints, and with the team seemingly in rebuilding mode and Brees turning 36 this year, they could be ready to find his long-term replacement.
A CBS Sports report identified the New Orleans Saints as one of a handful of teams interested in moving up to land Mariota, the highly rated quarterback out of Oregon:
Picking 13th overall, and 31st overall, and with Drew Brees in what could be his last season in New Orleans and with Sean Payton remaking the team on the fly and making some shocking moves already (the Jimmy Graham trade, for one), getting a quarterback who looks like a tremendous scheme fit at a cheap price might be just want he needs.
Though the move would be bold, the New Orleans Saints have already started a massive roster overhaul that goes beyond just the Jimmy Graham trade.
Who are the 2015 Saints? Nobody knows. They’ve made enough moves for several seasons in what has become a complete roster overhaul.
Running back Pierre Thomas, linebacker Curtis Lofton and cornerback Corey White have been released. Ben Grubbs, Jimmy Graham and Kenny Stills have been traded. Cornerback Brandon Browner and running back C.J. Spiller were signed. Center Max Unger and linebacker Dannell Ellerbe were acquired.
If the rumors are true and the New Orleans Saints do move up to draft Marcus Mariota, it may come at a high price. There are reportedly a handful of teams interested in drafting the athletic quarterback, including the San Diego Chargers, who just worked out Mariota.
The Cleveland Browns are also close in the running, and may have an inside track for Mariota. This offseason the Browns hired Kevin O’Connell as their new quarterback coach. O’Connell has been working independently with Mariota, giving the team a connection to the likely No. 2 pick in the NFL Draft before other teams were able to talk to him.
Should the New Orleans Saints somehow trade up and land Marcus Mariota, it would likely have a huge ripple effect by sending Drew Brees into free agency with enough talent and years left in the tank to take a team to the Super Bowl.
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