Dennis Allen Sounds Off on Blockbuster Saints-Eagles Trade

Dennis Allen

Getty Dennis Allen is in first season coaching the New Orleans Saints after Sean Payton retired.

The blockbuster trade that shipped C.J. Gardner-Johnson to the Philadelphia Eagles for what amounted to a pick swap seemingly came out of nowhere. Yes, there were rumblings that the talented safety wanted a contract extension but no real trade rumors had surfaced.

The complicated situation played right into the hands of Howie Roseman, the NFL’s poster boy for wheeling and dealing at the 11th hour. The Eagles acquired Gardner-Johnson for pennies on the dollar and immediately made him their starting safety. He has six interceptions — tied for tops in the league — and 60 tackles, although he remains out with a lacerated kidney. Injury aside, the deal has been a huge win for the Eagles.

Earlier this week, New Orleans Saints head coach Dennis Allen was asked to reflect on the trade that seemed to catch everyone off guard. Allen, perhaps toeing the company line, said he had no regrets.

“No. Look, we made a decision, a business decision, and then you move forward with that,” Allen told the Times-Picayune. “You don’t really look back and play the what-if game. It was something that we felt like was the best thing for our team at that point in time and then we moved forward.”

‘Decoy’ Alvin Kamara Cleared to Play vs. Eagles

Alvin Kamara is arguably the best player on the Saints’ roster, a dynamic talent who can make defenders miss on the ground and slip undetected out of the backfield. He has 717 rushing yards on 184 carries in only 13 games, plus another 480 receiving yards on 55 catches. Kamara has 4 total touchdowns, although reporters in New Orleans don’t believe the Saints are using him to his full potential.

Jalen Dogan of Canal Street Chronicles made a plea for the team to stop using Kamara as a decoy, mentioning that his 22 combined touches over his past two games isn’t enough. Offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael needs more snaps.

Kamara is this team’s best player, simply put. We know his talent-level and how to maximize his intangibles (get him the ball in space) but common sense isn’t always so common. Pete is starting games off with him splitting snaps, he’s ending games with him splitting snaps. He’s constantly running him up the middle as if he’s Marshawn Lynch – he has no motive to “force feed” him the ball.

Through 15 games, Kamara has been on the field for 62 percent of the team’s third downs, down from his 81 percent rate in 2021. Pete has overthought the game-plan almost all year. In result, the offense has struggled mightily. There’s been a few good performances but that’s it, just a few. The season is almost over.

Saints Release Final Injury Report

The Saints ruled three players out for Sunday’s game: safety Marcus Maye (shoulder), guard Andrus Peat (ankle), and running back Dwayne Washington (illness). Daniel Sorenson is expected to start in place of Maye, with Calvin Throckmorton stepping in for Peat at left guard.

Meanwhile, Kamara is good to go after missing back-to-back practices earlier in the week due to a quadriceps injury as well as a personal matter. New Orleans listed backup safety Justin Evans (shoulder), starting cornerback Marshon Lattimore (abdomen), and starting receiver Chris Olave (hamstring) as questionable. Ditto for linebackers Pete Werner (hamstring) and Chase Hansen (knee).

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