There’s a lot to like about the 2022 New Orleans Saints squad, but haters are always going to hate.
Those down on the NOLA Saints will point out the poor performances of several starters from last year, including offensive misfits like Taysom Hill and a collectively struggling O-line. The glass-half-empty pessimists will also focus on players’ flaws, rather than strengths, as the Saints prepare for a triumphant comeback year — Trevor Penning’s flashing temper in training camp, for example, or Jameis Winston’s inconsistent record.
Some Saints players may have run out of chances to win a roster spot and will be cut come September; others may have strong showings in camp and impress in the 2022 season.
Which players face the steepest uphill battle to turn their careers around and win over Saints fans?
Here are four Saints who will hopefully prove fans wrong this season.
Saints player No. 4: Adam Trautman
One of the most disliked Saints players of 2021 gets a chance at redemption in 2022. Will Adam Trautman steer his career back on track?
We think so.
The 2020 third-rounder earned the TE1 role last season but didn’t really do much at the position, recording just 27 catches for 263 yards and two touchdowns. NOLA’s tight end corps as a whole underperformed, and this year the unit looks a bit better with the addition of Chris Herndon and with Taysom Hill potentially playing the majority of his snaps there.
If Hill can’t stay healthy this preseason, Trautman will be the de facto TE1 at the start of the 2022 season, and based on his early performances in camp, fans should see a colossal improvement in his game.
Trautman looked solid getting reps with Jameis Winston last week and finished as the team leader in targets and catches during one practice. He still has a ways to go to prove he can be a productive starter, but he’s looked the part so far in camp and has a much stronger supporting cast in 2022.
This year may be Trautman’s last opportunity to turn into a reliable tight end for the franchise; if he disappoints again, backups like Juwan Johnson may move into the starting role, or the team may opt to trade for or draft a cornerstone piece at the position next year.
Trautman’s monstrous third season is loading….