Although the New Orleans Saints have done some serious homework on this year’s quarterback class, a source said they had no talks about trading up to No. 1 to get one, refuting a report by the NFL Network.
If anything, the Saints are more likely to trade down to acquire an additional pick or two, per the source.
Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch appears to be a long shot, at best, for the Saints -- though they have worked him out and visited with him multiple times. It appears more likely that the Saints will consider a quarterback in the middle rounds.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees told the "Rich Eisen Show" that he hadn't heard the report that the Saints talked about trading up to No. 1, but said, "I would doubt that was probably the case or a consideration. But even if it was, it does not affect my mentality or my approach or anything."
New Orleans' interest level in the quarterback class, in general, is very real, though, now that Brees is 37 years old.
The Saints began doing more due diligence on quarterbacks last year and wound up drafting Garrett Grayson in Round 3 -- the highest they had drafted a quarterback since Archie Manning went No. 2 overall in 1971.
The Saints also visited with California’s Jared Goff, who could be the No. 1 pick in the draft this year, knowing they needed to be prepared if he slipped closer to their spot with the No. 12 pick. They also lined up visits with Michigan State's Connor Cook, Indiana's Nate Sudfeld and USC's Cody Kessler, according to either sources or other reports.
It’s unclear if the Saints are sour on Grayson’s potential after he essentially redshirted last season -- or if they have just reached a stage in Brees’ career path where they will strongly consider finding his successor every year.
Brees is heading into the final year of his contract, which adds a wrinkle into his succession plan.
It’s a bit surprising that Brees and the Saints haven’t worked out a contract extension yet -- but then again, it’s not all that surprising since no real deadline pressure has forced anyone’s hand.
Brees used those exact words on "The Dan Patrick Show" on Tuesday, saying there is "no deadline" but that he still plans to retire as a Saint.
A deadline almost crept up last week when the Saints pursued free agent cornerback Josh Norman. ESPN’s Ed Werder reported that Brees was willing to modify his contract if the Saints needed to do so to fit Norman under the salary cap.
Brees also confirmed to the Rich Eisen Show that he let the Saints know he would be willing to adjust his contract to help them sign Norman. Brees didn't say whether that would include an extension.