The New Orleans Saints were 9-8 this past season and a game away from the playoffs. For some teams, that’s a good season; other franchises will enter the offseason with optimism after a year like that. For the Saints, however, it was an underwhelming, drama-filled season. Still, after losing several one-score games, it’s clear that New Orleans isn’t far from where it wants to be.
That reality hasn’t stopped the Saints from being considered the most depressing team heading into the offseason. That’s how Kevin Patra described the team in a recent piece for NFL.com. The piece was about one move that each NFL team needed to make in the offseason, but Patra took a few sentences to tear into the Saints while describing the state of the franchise:
"There might not be a more depressing team heading into the 2024 offseason. On paper, the Saints should have contended in 2023. Instead, they came up small. Portions of the locker room and coaching staff seemed to be at odds all campaign… Head coach Dennis Allen also desperately needs to win to keep his job beyond 2024, so I don't see New Orleans making any drastic rebuilding moves. The Saints will do what they do: Restructure a bunch of contracts for aging veterans and convince themselves they can win a soft NFC South division."- Kevin Patra
Can Saints turn things around during the offseason?
As unnecessary as this dunking of New Orleans might have been for this specific piece, it’s hard to disagree with Patra’s points. The Saints were pretty dysfunctional throughout the season and that could be a big reason why they played so many close games en route to their 9-8 record.
Moving forward, Dennis Allen is still in charge, but New Orleans have made several different changes to the coaching staff and will make changes to the roster during the offseason. Time will tell if those changes change the culture, helping the Saints to win more games and contend for a title.