With 2023 NFL training camps set to kick off the week of July 24, it's time to get up to speed on all 32 NFL teams. Bobby Kownack has the lowdown on position battles, key players and notable subplots across the NFC South:
Catch up on the New Orleans Saints' offseason and 2023 outlook below ...
Training Camp Dates/Information
- Players report: July 18 (rookies); July 25 (veterans)
- Location: Ochsner Sports Performance Center | Metairie, Louisiana
Notable Roster Changes
2023 Schedule Notes
- Have the second easiest strength of schedule in 2023 based on their opponents' 2022 win percentage (.427).
- Play three straight games at home from Weeks 13-15 (Detroit, Carolina and New York Giants).
- Play five of their first six games versus 2022 non-playoff teams (Tennessee, at Carolina, at Green Bay, at New England and at Houston).
- Play two games on Thursday Night Football (Week 7 vs. Jacksonville, Week 16 at L.A. Rams).
-- NFL Research
Subplots To Track
1) Derek Carr is the new QB1 in New Orleans following his unceremonious exit from the Las Vegas Raiders. Despite his up-and-down nine-year career, Carr still positions the Saints as front-runners in a wide-open division that failed to produce a team with a winning record last year. Finding redemption in New Orleans with his first NFL head coach, Dennis Allen, who experienced a Raiders dismissal of his own four games into Carr's rookie season, would be a serendipitous turn.
2) There's uncertainty at the running back position. Alvin Kamara's trial for two charges (conspiracy to commit battery and battery resulting in substantial bodily harm) stemming from an incident that occurred in February 2022 is scheduled to begin on July 31. The outcome of the trial, and any potential league discipline, could affect his availability. Behind the five-time Pro Bowler on the depth chart are last year's leader in rushing touchdowns, Jamaal Williams, and third-round rookie Kendre Miller, who's already expressed optimism he can step in for Kamara and provide a similar skill set.
(EDITOR'S UPDATE: Alvin Kamara pleaded no contest to an amended charge of breach of peace (misdemeanor) for his role in the February 2022 incident, per the Clark County (Nevada) District Court. He is required to complete 30 hours of community service, pay a $500 fine and pay more than $100,000 to the victim for medical expenses. Kamara is still subject to potential league discipline under the NFL's personal conduct policy.)
3) The year is 2027. Taysom Hill is on a strict 6,000-calorie diet of po'boys and beignets in a quest to fill the final spot on his bingo card of offensive positions: left tackle. But we're getting ahead of ourselves. Going into this season's training camp, Hill is gearing up for an expanded role as a receiver. Because why not? Hill, who turns 33 in August and is currently listed by the team as a tight end, has a wacky career stat line of nine touchdown receptions, 23 rushing touchdowns and a 7-2 record as a starting quarterback. The Saints will continue to use him in different ways until the creative juices run dry, and Hill will continue to flummox fantasy platforms with his position eligibility.
4) Who could have foreseen Michael Thomas' career trajectory after he won the 2019 AP Offensive Player of the Year award? He's been plagued by foot and ankle injuries ever since, managing just 10 games and 66 receptions over the past three seasons. Now 30 years old, can he finally stay healthy? And what would a healthy Thomas look like at an age where most receivers -- even the ones without lower leg issues -- start to slow down? He appears to be the team's No. 2 wideout behind budding superstar Chris Olave because the rest of the cast remains lackluster. Perhaps New Orleans will look to add better insurance through a trade or by signing a cutdown-day casualty ahead of Week 1.
5) Cornerback Marshon Lattimore's return after missing 10 games in 2022 means Paulson Adebo and Alontae Taylor will compete for the leftover boundary spot. That bears watching, but the most intriguing storyline on the defensive side of the ball is the race against Father Time. Defensive end Cameron Jordan and linebacker Demario Davis are both entering their age-34 season, with Jordan riding a streak of six Pro Bowls and Davis a run of three second-team All-Pro selections. Any perceptible drop off would first rear its head during training camp. It would only be right for them to pass that test and continue excelling in New Orleans' best shot at a postseason run since Drew Brees retired.