Saints DE Chase Young To Undergo Surgery

A knee injury represents a significant reason Chase Young is now with the Saints, after a declined fifth-year option led him to free agency. But the former Defensive Rookie of the Year will spend extensive time rehabbing another issue this offseason.

Young will undergo neck surgery, according to’s Adam Schefter, who adds the talented edge rusher is expected to be sidelined into training camp. The Saints expect Young to be ready for the season, and while they were comfortable with the fifth-year veteran’s neck issue upon signing him Monday, it will be a while before he is in uniform again.

This procedure helps explain why Young ended up with a “prove it” deal. Even on a market featuring some starter-caliber edge rushers with upside, Young’s talent stood out. But his 2021 knee trouble — a torn ACL and ruptured patellar tendon — sidelined him for nearly all of the 2022 season. With that in his rearview mirror and this nick issue a factor as well, Young did not land a multiyear contract. Though, the Saints did give the former Heisman finalist a $13MM guarantee for the 2024 season. That illustrated other teams were willing to bet on Young now.

The Saints indeed secured exclusive negotiating rights with Young until March 2025. That will give the NFC South team a chance to evaluate a player whose trajectory once seemed to be soaring beyond “prove it” deal territory. But Young lost nearly two seasons due to the knee injury. After he started off well with the Commanders before a midseason trade last year (five sacks), he was unable to display the same form with the 49ers, registering 2.5 sacks in eight games. Still, Young is going into only his age-25 season. He has time to rebuild his value ahead of a potentially lucrative third contract.

That said, this neck surgery will introduce another complication here. It is certainly possible the Saints will want to see an extensive run of Young health before considering an extension. Young also may be interested in proving it to enhance his 2025 market, seeing as he was not planning to discuss a new Commanders deal until after the 2024 season. The Saints will wait on the once-prized prospect for a while, as it now appears less than a lock Young will be ready for Week 1.

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