NOLA Saints can regain dominance in NFC South if Brady leaves
By Kristen Wong
The New Orleans Saints may reclaim the NFC South throne next season under one important condition: Tom Brady must retire.
He nearly did, and then he didn’t, and now his future heading into the offseason remains uncertain.
We wouldn’t put it past Brady to put off retirement and play one more season out of pure pettiness. In the event that Brady does hang up his boots for good, the Saints have a huge opportunity to take over the division.
If Brady leaves, many Bucs players will likely follow given that the core of the team will be unrestricted free agents this summer:
Even if Tampa Bay doesn’t implode after Brady’s potential retirement, the rest of the NFC South will be rebuilding.
New Orleans Saints may be primed for NFC South dominance in 2022
The Saints have enough talent that they don’t need to go into fire sale mode — other than needs at quarterback and wide receiver, NOLA’s defense is championship-level and the team will be left in good hands in the wake of Payton’s hiatus.
Carolina and Atlanta look to be in far worse shape, though.
The Panthers’ Sam Darnold project seems to have backfired. Falcons’ Matt Ryan can hurl the pigskin, but the team needs significant improvements on both sides of the ball.
In comparison, New Orleans have infrastructure to immediately compete in 2022. They finished just outside of playoff seeding last season but still posted a winning record, and that was with four different quarterbacks in the rotation.
If the Saints can anchor down Jameis Winston, draft a few wide receivers, and pray for Michael Thomas’ resurgent return, NOLA’s offense can form a humming unit once again.
Of course, all this hinges on Brady actually retiring or at least leaving Tampa. The GOAT may still have a few years left in him, and everyone knows he still has a score to settle with the Saints.