Well, they’ve done it again with news on Friday that they’re adding former Cleveland Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry — another former LSU star and a native of southern Louisiana that fills a huge need.
Fans around New Orleans have lamented for years that the Saints aren’t signing or recruiting enough talent from nearby LSU. Now, all of a sudden, they’ve added two of the most dynamic former tigers of all time.
Tweet embed Let’s do it like old times Soulja
– Teran Mathieu (@Mathieu_Era) May 13, 2022
More importantly, the Saints bolstered two of the most visible weaknesses on the roster that now look like a certified playoff contender, despite losing head coach Sean Payton, left tackle Tyrone Armstead, and safety Marcus Williams and Malcolm Jenkins.
Landry, 29, almost feels like a luxury for the Saints who also earned No. 1 receiver Michael Thomas who came back from an ankle injury and just made a pair of aggressive deals to land future Ohio State wide Chris Olaf with the 11th pick in the draft two weeks ago. Just.
But there will be room for all three receivers, considering how huge the need for an improved receiver body is in New Orleans.
The Saints finished last in the NFL in passing yards in 2021 (187.4 per game) — largely due to injuries. Not only has Thomas missed the entire season, but midfielder James Winston has missed his last 10 games due to a tear in the AFC Champions League, and his first four attacking linemen have missed a total of 32 games.
Last year’s top three receivers—Tre’Quan Smith, Marquez Callaway and Deonte Harty—are shown as fourth, fifth and sixth receivers.
The Saints still went 9-8 last season and barely missed the playoffs despite setting an NFL record with 58 different starters, including four different quarterbacks. They did so with the strength of Dennis Allen’s defense. Allen, who was promoted from defensive coordinator to head coach this off-season, led a defense that finished fourth in points allowed (19.7 per game) and seventh in yards allowed (318.2).
Now they must have a recurring offense to pair it with.
Landry is coming off the least effective season of his career, thanks in large part to a knee sprain he suffered in Week Two that kept him out in four games. Finishing his career with 52 catching points, 570 yards and two touchdowns, Brown decided to upgrade with a deal for Amari Cooper this off season.
Landry’s numbers are also down a bit in 2020 (72-840-3) after winning the Pro Bowl in five consecutive seasons with the Miami Dolphins and Browns from 2015 to 2019.
But the Saints don’t need Landry to be #1 with this trio suddenly loaded from receivers. It should immediately become their top slot choice – having lined up for nearly two-thirds of his NFL career as a versatile indoor/outdoor option. And he brings yet another trusted veteran presence to a crime that struggled to unlock receivers last year.
The 5-foot-11, 196-pounder is already ranked 59th in NFL history with 688 career receptions, according to Pro Football reviewers, and also has 7,598 yards and 37 touchdowns.
The additions to the receiving team, including the return of Thomas, should put Winston in a much better position to thrive in his second season as centerback in New Orleans.