Saints Decline Payton Turner’s Fifth-Year Option

As expected, the Saints won’t be committing to Payton Turner beyond the 2024 campaign. According to Ari Meirov of The 33rd Team, the Saints have declined the defensive lineman’s fifth-year option.

Today was the deadline to pick up the fifth-year option on 2021 first-round picks. That commitment would have locked Turner into a $13.39MM salary for the 2025 campaign. Instead, the defensive lineman will hit free agency following the 2024 season.

Things obviously haven’t gone as planned for Turner in New Orleans, with the Houston product being limited to only 15 games across three seasons. He was limited to only five games as a rookie thanks to a shoulder injury, but he managed to stay relatively healthy during his sophomore campaign. That season, Turner found himself in and out of the lineup, finishing the season with 16 tackles and a pair of sacks in eight games.

This past season, the defensive lineman landed on injured reserve after suffering a turf toe injury in Week 1. He didn’t return until January, and he ended his third NFL season with only two appearances.

With the Saints pairing free agent acquisition Chase Young with long-time Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan, Turner doesn’t have a clear path to playing time in 2024. There’s a chance the Saints look to save $2.3MM against the cap and let the former first-round pick pursue a fresh start elsewhere.

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