We’re here at the Owners Meetings with Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis, and I guess off the top, we have a relocation for another year. The Oakland Raiders got the approval to move to Las Vegas. Your thoughts on the relocation.
Loomis: Man, you hate to see teams have to relocate. You understand it, but I think we’d all prefer for teams to be able to stay in the cities that they’ve been in. Yet, that’s somebody else’s franchise. Obviously the stadium deal that was available in Las Vegas was something they liked and feel like they can be successful with, so it’s just the nature of the business really.
Now that’s the big NFL news. The big Saints news, obviously, the Brandin Cooks trade. You guys wanted to be able to position yourself to help yourselves defensively. Do you feel like you guys were able to accomplish that?
Loomis: Well obviously, we picked up an asset in a draft pick in a draft that we feel like is really a deep draft, especially defensively. I wouldn’t say that we wanted to trade Brandin Cooks. He’s been a good player for us and a guy that we have a lot of respect for, was really a productive professional, good teammate. Lot of good things with Brandin Cooks, and yet we feel like obviously we have to help our defense in order to be more competitive on that side of the ball and win more games. This is an opportunity for us to do that.
Is it also a situation where this offense is a tribe and true offense that’s been able to produce with changing parts over the years?
Loomis: Well, I think that we’re confident as an organization in our ability to move the ball offensively and to score points. We don’t take it for granted, but we’re confident that we’re able to do that and look we just need to improve our roster on defense, and give our guys some help. This gives us a chance to do that.
Now this obviously does not guarantee that you will pick two defensive players in the first round, but does this give you flexibility to do other things if you choose to do other things.
Loomis: Yea, I think the important thing here is that we’ve got five picks in the first three rounds in what we view as a pretty deep draft. We’ll be able to help ourselves. Hopefully that help will be more immediate than you would normally expect with young players, but I felt like last year we got some immediate help with a number of our draft picks who did well in their first year and hopefully we can duplicate that.
Bring us up to date on the contact with Malcolm Butler, the cornerback from New England who is a restricted free agent, but obviously not under contract right now.
Loomis: Well, you know, we’ve had some discussions with his agent and obviously he had a visit. That’s really been the extent of it to date. We’ll see where that goes.
Quotes from our Saints interview with GM Mickey Loomis at the NFL Owners Meetings…