The NFL Network reported that New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton had breakfast with Johnny Manziel during Super Bowl week and that Payton appears to have taken an interest in the former Browns quarterback. But there are no indications that the Saints are planning to sign Manziel at this time.
It could just be a matter of friendly advice or due diligence. When the Saints took on a different type of reclamation project, Joey Harrington, years ago, Payton said he got good advice about taking a chance on a player who came into the league with tools and talent but didn’t pan out for one reason or another, and that quarterback is “the one position that all of a sudden a player can have success in his 11th season.”
On the flip side, signing Manziel would come with a ton of media attention, including things like possibly being selected for “Hard Knocks” (something the Saints have made clear in past years that they don’t want).
The Saints are looking heavily into quarterbacks in this year’s draft class since Drew Brees is 38 and heading into the final year of his contract. They have held private workouts with Texas Tech’s Patrick Mahomes II and Tennessee’s Joshua Dobbs this week, and will likely do the same with many of the top quarterback prospects. But that could also be classified as due diligence, since Brees is still thriving. New Orleans did the same thing with the top quarterbacks in last year’s draft class and didn’t wind up drafting one.
The Saints also visited with their former backup Chase Daniel, who is now a free agent, last week — but that was mostly about their history with Daniel. They don’t necessarily need to sign a new veteran backup since they like the one they have, Luke McCown.