NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - The Saints’ second week of the 2020 league year has brought a slow to free agency and given general manager Mickey Loomis a chance to reflect on his team’s changes.
Loomis’ offseason started with agreeing to a new contract with Drew Brees and at two years for approximately $50 million, he believes his star quarterback did the team a favor “For this year, look, Drew has taken less money than he could probably command if he wanted to," Loomis said on The Peter King Podcast. "That’s to the benefit of the team so we’ve been in this mode over the last, I don’t know how many years, of trying to take advantage of the window of opportunity that we have with Drew so that causes you to say 'Look, we need to borrow some resources from future years. We need to be disciplined in where and how much we’re paying in certain areas and look, let’s make sure we’re creating an environment that players want to be part of and are willing to take, not a lot less, but a shade less than they could command elsewhere and so I think the environment that our head coach and ownership have created here lends itself to that.”
New Orleans is constantly up against the league’s salary cap but they managed to sign a pair of veterans in Malcolm Jenkins and Emmanuel Sanders. Jenkins was a rookie on the Saints’ Super Bowl-winning team and has been in Philadelphia the last six seasons, including a Super Bowl win for the Eagles “I’d be the first one to tell you that, man, we should have never let him out of the building and that’s my responsibility more than anyone’s. He was the epitome of what you want as a leader and as a player for us for the first five years of his career and obviously did that and more in Philadelphia over the last however many years it’s been so to get him back in our building is really a blessing as much as anything else. I’m looking forward to having him back in our building and look, we expect great play and know we’re going to get great play from him but we also know that he’s a positive addition in terms of leadership in the locker room and yet, look, he was still under contract with the Eagles up until the day before we were able to get an agreement with him so that wasn’t something that was expected going into free agency.”
Sanders has his own Super Bowl credentials, having appeared in the game with all three teams he has previously played for - Pittsburgh, Denver and San Francisco. The Saints had their eyes on him in 2019 when the Broncos looked to trade him and ultimately sent him to the 49ers “We’ve always felt like Emmanuel Sanders is a quality player. We talked about a year ago when it looked like he might be traded - we talked about that, we talked about ‘hey, is there a way to make this work relative to the compensation that was required as well as the salary cap numbers’ and we just couldn’t make that work. It got to the point where there was a desire on his part and our part and we found a way to create resources in order to get him in the building and look, we’re really excited about it.”