Enough notable New Orleans Saints players have been jettisoned via trades during the Sean Payton era where you’re forced to give credence to any reputable speculation to hit the news cycle.
The names of Saints traded players since 2006 would make up a damn solid roster: Brandin Cooks, Jimmy Graham, Darren Sproles, Kenny Stills, Donte’ Stallworth, Ben Grubbs, Chris Ivory. I could add Johnathan Sullivan in this mix. I could also say the Atlanta Falcons won Super Bowl 51, but both would be lies.
Cornerback Delvin Breaux became the latest rumored player hooked at the end of the Saints fishing pole as trade bait. Multiple reports stated such, citing the team is frustrated with Breaux’s injury history.
Breaux only played six games last season after suffering a fractured leg and a shoulder injury. He’s also missed most of training camp with a leg injury.
“We would never comment if we were to begin with, and it rarely works that way,” Payton said after Monday’s practice when asked about the trade rumors. “It’s very normal throughout training camp for teams to discuss different players and possible trades. And we’ve seen a couple (trades) already that are, I think, unique. The three-team trade last week (with the Rams, Bills and Eagles) was interesting. I wouldn’t comment on that. That would be club business.”
First off, there was no denial. Payton simply said he would never comment on something like this and it’s “rarely” how it works. Last I checked, Payton openly commented on trying to trade Cooks earlier this year by design to drum up interest.
Like they always say, never say never.
Which leads to this: How seriously are the Saints considering trading Breaux? You can put two and two together and figure out which side wanted this public.
One of the reasons would be to stir up interest from other teams to let the league know he’s available for the right price. Another reason would be to hold Breaux’s feet to the fire to force the cornerback to return to action.
Well it doesn’t sound like Breaux will be back on the field at least for a little while.
Breaux underwent X-rays Monday morning that revealed a more serious injury, a source told NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune’s Josh Katzenstein. The source wouldn’t reveal the injury, but said the ailment still isn’t considered long-term in nature. The source added Breaux was at the team facility Monday afternoon in a walking boot and using crutches.
Who’s giving away anything valuable for Breaux if the Saints are so weary of the cornerback’s injuries?
The Saints have to know this, right? Right???
I can think of a couple of times this decade where the Saints pondered dealing someone they weren’t happy with at the time.
Pierre Thomas landed in the team’s doghouse in 2010 during a lingering ankle injury. Thomas stayed put. Keenan Lewis publicly nuked the Saints after releasing several high-priced veterans in 2014. His name surfaced quickly, but the Saints made his contract guaranteed instead.
In my eyes, Breaux is still the best cornerback on the team.
Why would you trade him when the rest of the group is either unproven, not as good or both? On the surface, trading Breaux would make little sense.
P.J. Williams has played 11/2 games in his NFL career. Marshon Lattimore is a rookie with a current injury and an injury-laden past. Sterling Moore should be a reserve. Ken Crawley, while having a good camp, still has to prove it in the regular season. Same with De’Vante Harris. And Arthur Maulet has to prove he can make the team.
Throw in the value the Saints have with Breaux and it would look even worse to deal him.
Breaux only carries a $619,000 cap number with him in 2017. He would be a restricted free agent going into the offseason, meaning his price tag wouldn’t jump any higher than say $5 million — far less than a cornerback on the open market.
I can at least understand the irritation from the Saints about Breaux’s injuries They’ve dealt with players like Dannell Ellerbe and Jairus Byrd who never seemed to be healthy. But let’s not be hasty here.
The injuries to Terron Armstead would be far more frustrating to the Saints than Breaux’s ailments. But maybe the Saints figure they can score big on a return for Breaux given his cost since Armstead and his massive contract aren’t tradeable.
Now that Breaux is injured more than originally suggested, where do the Saints really think they can go from here?
Trading Breaux would hurt the Saints on multiple fronts. I don’t understand the Saints’ logic with this one.
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