Latest On Saints DEs Cameron Jordan, Chase Young

Saints stalwart Cameron Jordan underwent surgery earlier this year to address the significant ankle injury he sustained in November. While the eight-time Pro Bowler was able to play through the injury, he was clearly limited by it down the stretch of the 2023 season, and he ultimately recorded just two sacks (his lowest total since his rookie year in 2011).

Fortunately, Jordan is on the mend. He told reporters, including Mike Triplett of NewOrleans.Football, that he is running again and participating in walk-throughs, and he hopes to do some on-field work by the end of OTAs and minicamp (the last OTA session is on June 6, and the club’s three-day mandatory minicamp commences on June 11).

Despite the diminished sack total, Jordan still played fairly well in the eyes of Pro Football Focus, securing a solid 73.5 overall grade that positioned him as the 41st-best edge defender out of 112 qualified players. That is off the pace of his elite performances from 2015-21 but right in line with his 2022 work. His overall mark was pulled down by a middling 63.8 pass rush grade, though there is hope that a healthy ankle will at least allow him to replicate the counting stats he accumulated in 2022, when he tallied 8.5 sacks, 66 total tackles (13 TFL), and a pair of forced fumbles.

One way or another, it appears that Jordan, who will turn 35 in July, has another two years to go in his illustrious playing career. The Cal product inked an extension last August that keeps him under club control through 2025, which he expects to be his last season. In classic Saints fashion, the team restructured his contract in March to clear cap space.

Joining Jordan on the New Orleans defensive front is free agent acquisition Chase Young, who has yet to get the big-money deal that he was doubtlessly eyeing when the Commanders made him the No. 2 overall pick in 2020. Young, of course, earned Defensive Rookie of the Year honors that season but struggled with a serious knee injury thereafter, though he did manage to post 7.5 sacks between the Commanders and 49ers in 2023. While he can earn up to $13MM on his one-year pillow contract with the Saints, most of that value comes in the form of per-game roster bonuses.

Young’s market was limited in part by the fact that he required neck surgery this offseason, and while the Saints were comfortable with his prognosis, they knew he would need some time to recover. As Triplett notes, Young will likely remain in “walk-through mode” through minicamp, which is consistent with earlier reports that he would be sidelined into training camp in July.

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