The Saints are one of the teams that are expected to be in the market for a quarterback this offseason and they are set to receive an asset they can put toward that effort.
Sean Payton’s imminent move to the Broncos will result in a first-round pick coming back to the Saints and that’s particularly significant because the Saints were without one after trading theirs to the Eagles last year. While speaking to reporters from the Senior Bowl this week, Ireland said he’s “excited” about the prospect of adding that pick because it gives the team more “flexibility” heading into the offseason.
Ireland didn’t divulge what direction the Saints will go when talking about quarterbacks. Jameis Winston remains under contract, but was benched for Andy Dalton last season. Ireland acknowledged “we need to find one” as they work their way toward the 2023 season. He also acknowledged that history says their chances of finding one are greater earlier in the draft.
“It has to be the right guy,” Ireland said. “You don’t want to be throwing darts. . . . Gotta have the right traits, gotta have the right intelligence. In the history of the game, generally you have to take one early.”
Much has to play out in terms of evaluations of prospects and the Saints’ moves with veteran players ahead of the draft will provide more hints about what direction they might take at quarterback in 2023.