Saints should benefit from Chase Young playing the most important year of his career

Chase Young was the biggest signing for the New Orleans Saints this offseason, and he will be playing with a ton of motivation in 2024.
Super Bowl LVIII - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs
Super Bowl LVIII - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs / Michael Owens/GettyImages

The New Orleans Saints didn’t have an explosive offseason, by any means. Their biggest player acquisition was signing veteran defensive end Chase Young to a one-year deal. Even that move was dampened when it was announced that Young would be undergoing neck surgery. However, he’s expected to be ready for the season, and he’ll have high expectations that he needs to meet.

Simply put, this is the most important season of Chase Young’s career. NFL writer Nick Shook detailed that in a recent piece looking at 10 players entering make-or-break seasons, because their careers are at a crossroads. Young was one of the players on the list.

Chase Young’s career will be at a crossroads in his first season with Saints

After a blazing start to his NFL career, Chase Young has seen a drop in production, primarily because of injuries. After playing 15 games as a rookie, winning defensive player of the year and making the Pro Bowl, Young only played in 12 games over the next two seasons. In 2023, he did play 16 total games, but he played all of them with a neck injury.

Because of this rocky path, Young isn’t quite looked at as the elite talent that he was when he was a rookie. However, that shift in perception should be immense motivation for Young.

"If Young needs motivation to produce in 2024, he only has to look back a few months at his free agency, which didn’t include a ton of attention and ended in a one-year, $13 million trial with the Saints. That’s far from what most expected the former No. 2 overall pick to fetch even a year ago…Young was forced to accept a decent prove-it opportunity. If he wants to make big money, Young needs to act now."

Nick Shook (

However, as Shook goes on to say, Young is only 25 years old, and is entering his fifth season in the NFL. He can easily reclaim the bright future that was once ahead of him. It’ll take health being on his side and Young producing as a pass rusher.

That’s exactly what the Saints need, and exactly what they hope they’re getting; a motivated Chase Young on a mission to remind the NFL. If he does that, New Orleans will have the elite pass rush it desperately needs, and the franchise may also have a cornerstone defender for the years moving forward.