It’s safe to say that this was a perfect weekend for the New Orleans Saints.
Not only did they defeat the NFC South rival and Tom Brady-led Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Sunday’s season opener. The team managed to sign two of its core players to long-term extensions, too.
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Saints gave standout linebacker Demario Davis a three-year contract extension worth $27 million. $18.35 million of it is guaranteed, and the deal includes $500,000 in Pro Bowl incentives.
Davis’ new deal was announced one day after the Saints gave Pro Bowl running back Alvin Kamara a five-year extension worth $75 million. Simply put, this team is well built to contend in the post-Drew Brees era.
Davis spent his first four seasons with the New York Jets (2012 to 2015) before joining the Cleveland Browns for one year. He returned to the Jets in 2017, tuning in a career year (five sacks and 97 solo tackles), to set himself up for a nice payday in free agency.
The Saints signed Davis to a three-year, $24 million deal in 2018 free agency. He quickly became an anchor on their defense, helping the team advance all the way to the 2018 NFC Championship Game, where they lost to the Los Angeles Rams in overtime.
Davis earned his first career First-Team All-Pro nod last season, recording four sacks, 12 passes defended and 111 combined tackles. His Saints won the NFC South with a 13-3 record for the second consecutive year, but they fell to the Minnesota Vikings in overtime of the NFC Wild Card Round.
General manager Mickey Loomis now has Davis, Kamara, Pro Bowl wideout Michael Thomas, elite pass rusher Cameron Jordan, standout offensive tackle Terron Armstead and veteran safety Malcolm Jenkins under long-term contracts.
The rookie deals of Ryan Ramczyk, Marcus Williams and Marshon Lattimore expire soon, however, so Loomis will have to manage the salary cap carefully in order to keep the entire core together.
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