Saints Won't Enter Full Rebuild After Sean Payton Retirement, GM Mickey Loomis Says

Erin WalshJanuary 28, 2022

NEW ORLEANS, LA - SEPTEMBER 09: New Orleans Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis looks on before the game between the New Orleans Saints and the Houston Texans on September 9, 2019 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, LA. (Photo by Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The New Orleans Saints aren't planning to enter a full rebuild following Sean Payton's retirement, general manager Mickey Loomis told reporters Friday. 

Loomis mentioned several times that the Saints have a good roster and culture they'd like to build from, whether it be with an in-house or outside coaching candidate. 

Loomis made similar comments one year ago when veteran quarterback Drew Brees announced his retirement, telling reporters the team would not enter a rebuild despite losing its most valuable player.

"Listen, we've got a great roster," Loomis said at the time. "And I can't foresee a circumstance where we're not going to say, 'Man, we're gonna do everything we can to winβ€”win now and compete for a championship." 

Payton had served as New Orleans head coach since 2006. He compiled a 152-89 record and led the team to a Super Bowl title during the 2009 season. Losing him will be significant for the Saints, but the franchise is also likely headed for several other changes. 

If the Saints want to remain competitive for years to come, it might be in their best interest to enter a rebuild. 

The Saints enter the 2022 season without a starting quarterback, and find themselves in a financial trench. New Orleans is currently $74 million over the salary cap and might have to part ways with several star players this offseason in order to become cap compliant. 

And while Loomis says the Saints won't enter a rebuild, this would probably be the best time for the franchise to build up draft capital. Players like Michael Thomas, Cameron Jordan, Alvin Kamara and Malcolm Jenkins would help clear some cap space and undoubtedly provide solid draft compensation. 

It's hard to imagine New Orleans competing with the likes of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Green Bay Packers, Los Angeles Rams and the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC. If the team doesn't rebuild now, then when?