South Notes: Saints, Pagano, White, Texans

Despite plenty of speculation that 2015 could be Drew Brees‘ and/or Sean Payton‘s last year in New Orleans, the Saints quarterback says that he’s not going anywhere and neither is his head coach.

I think we — a plan was put in place throughout last offseason as to how we were going to build a foundation by which to make a run at it in the future. That includes some new faces, that includes some young players that, I think, will all have a chance to come together and kind of build a team that can make a run at it in the future,” Brees told NFL Network. “Unfortunately, we had high expectations going into this year and we fell a bit short. But I’m confident with the character, the leadership, the talent we have.”

Brees’ and Payton’s futures in New Orleans are a little less certain than the former Super Bowl MVP suggests, but one player who isn’t going anywhere is left tackle Terron Armstead. Payton said this week that he wouldn’t trade Armstead for any other left tackle in the league, and the third-year lineman looks entrenched as one of the Saints’ building blocks, writes Mike Triplett of

Let’s check in on some more items from across the NFL’s South divisions….

  • Bob Kravitz of (Twitter link) isn’t so sure that Chuck Pagano would want to remain with the Colts even if the team decides it wants to keep him, but Pagano told reporters today, including Mike Chappell of Fox59 (Twitter link), that he plans to fight to keep his job.
  • One Pro Bowl receiver – Steve Smith – announced today that he’s postponing retirement and will return in 2016, and another veteran wideout – Roddy White of the Falcons – has a similar plan. As D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal Constitution writes, White has been somewhat frustrated with his role this season in Atlanta, but says he plans on being a Falcon “forever” and wants to play a couple more years.
  • Several GM jobs could open up next week, as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes. Among the interesting upcoming decisions is one the Texans may have to make, with Florio forecasting that either GM Rick Smith or head coach Bill O’Brien will see an increase in power at this season’s conclusion.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

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