Things do not always work out in the NFL, even if you had initially signed a contract worth approximately $26.5 million. According to 24/7 Sports, the New Orleans Saints are releasing Keenan Lewis. The veteran cornerback expressed relief that his tenure with the franchise is over. Lewis also revealed that his relationship with an assistant coach doomed his stay.
In 2013 and 2014, Keenan Lewis was one of the best players on the New Orleans Saints roster. His play made many understand the gigantic five-year contract that the Louisiana native was handed. Many were under the belief that he would be a foundation for years to come.
Things went downhill for Keenan Lewis after those successful first two seasons, though. A hip injury made it hard for 6-foot-1, 208-pound defensive back to regain his status as one of the best players in the NFL. It was at that point that his contract with the New Orleans Saints became questioned.
Keenan Lewis has a base salary of $2.7 million for the upcoming season with the New Orleans Saints. The entire amount was fully guaranteed, which means that the Saints are not saving money by releasing Lewis. This is one of those “addition by subtraction” moves.
Back in November, the New Orleans Saints fired Rob Ryan as defensive coordinator, as reported by SB Nation. Ryan was replaced by Dennis Allen, an assistant coach with the Saints who used to be the head coach of the Oakland Raiders for a couple of seasons. The move did not work well for Keenan Lewis.
On his way out the door, Keenan Lewis stated that he has the utmost respect for New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton and the organization as a whole. However, Lewis made sure to let everyone know that he was not comfortable after Rob Ryan was dismissed.
According to Keenan Lewis, Dennis Allen was never a fan of his work. Lewis stated that Allen told him personally that he was never going to make it in the NFL early on in his career. Lewis stated that he used that as motivation, but he felt Allen thought it was arrogant.
With Keenan Lewis no longer on the team, the New Orleans Saints are going to rely on a young group of defensive backs that include Delvin Breaux, P.J. Williams, Damian Swann, De’Vante Harris, and Ken Crawley. Lewis was quick to praise the new group of players in the Saints secondary.
Confidence is not an issue for Keenan Lewis. When asked about his own potential, Lewis stated that if he was healthy, then he would be on the same level as Darrelle Revis of the New York Jets and Patrick Peterson of the Arizona Cardinals, both of whom are considered NFL elites.
To add a veteran presence, the New Orleans Saints signed Cortland Finnegan back in August, as reported by NBC Sports. Though the 32-year-old cornerback has a history of causing trouble on the field, Finnegan proved that he has matured a bit after his Super Bowl chase with the Carolina Panthers.
As for Keenan Lewis and his future in the NFL, there should be some teams willing to give him a look. With his connection to Rob Ryan, the Buffalo Bills will be an obvious team. Rob was hired by his older brother, Bills head coach Rex Ryan, as an assistant.
NFL stars look for greener grass all the time, because things do not always work out as they had hoped. Keenan Lewis feels relieved that he is now a free agent, but there is now the bigger task of trying to find a new home in the National Football League.
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