When Trautman took over TE1 duties in 2021, many believed he would experience a leap in his career — all throughout last year, no such leap happened. In 13 games played, Trautman recorded just 27 catches for 263 yards, averaging 9.7 yards per catch.
With the Saints hardly making any offensive moves this free agency so far, Trautman will likely remain the team’s top tight end in 2022, and just like last year, he could break out in a huge way….or not.
Bleacher Report’s Alex Ballentine predicted every NFL team’s 2022 breakout player and listed Trautman as the Saints’:
"His best stretch came in the three games prior to the late-November MCL injury, when he had 14 catches for 137 yards and a touchdown. That included a five-catch, 58-yard game against the Eagles. Four of those were contested grabs, and he earned a 90.4 receiving grade from PFF for that Week 11 tilt.The pre-injury version of Trautman should return next season."
New Orleans Saints will depend on Adam Trautman to have a breakout year in 2022
Ballentine notes that Trautman’s slew of injuries in 2021 may have derailed his season, and this year he has no excuse for performing poorly as long as he stays healthy. In 2022, Trautman will be surrounded by many of the same offensive weapons as before with one prominent change: Michael Thomas is back.
Thomas’ return may mean even fewer targets for Trautman, but it could also mean opposing teams double-team Thomas and allow for more open looks in the middle of the field. Regardless, Trautman needs to carve a bigger role for himself in the passing offense and that starts with establishing chemistry with Jameis Winston.
The Saints have Trautman’s potential protege in Juwan Johnson, but Johnson still needs more time to develop his skills. As sad as it sounds, Trautman is New Orleans’ best option at tight end at the moment, and the offense could very well depend on how much he improves (if at all) in 2022.
If you couldn’t tell, we aren’t very enthused about Trautman featuring in the starting lineup and would rather put money on Thomas to return to OPOY form.