The New Orleans Saints made a trade move “out of spite” to prevent the Carolina Panthers draft team from acquiring a potential future quarterback.
It is no secret there is no love lost between the Carolina Panthers and the New Orleans Saints. This was further reflected with a late move in the NFL Draft that might have gone relatively unnoticed anywhere but within the two organizations.
The Panthers draft process saw them eventually use every pick on a defensive player, which was the first time such this had occurred in NFL history. This was not the intention of the Panthers draft team going in. But they did have their eye on a development project quarterback once all picks had been submitted.
That was until the Saints gave up their 2021 sixth-rounder to the Houston Texans to selected Mississippi State quarterback Tommy Stevens.
No big deal, I hear you say. But here is where it gets interesting. Stevens has a relationship with new Panthers offensive coordinator Joe Brady and had reportedly agreed to an undrafted free-agent deal to join the franchise.
The Saints were also in discussions regarding the player. But after Stevens’ agent stopped returning calls, head coach Sean Payton took matters into his own hands according to Jeff Duncan of The Athletic.
Payton had this to say when discussing the move.
“It became my project. I said, honestly, I was having some fun. You had given your word and I respect that. But we weren’t going to lose you. You were going to become a Saint.”
This was even met with a text exchange between Payton and Brady following the move. However good it felt for the Saints’ coach to flex his muscles at the time. To say it is a bizarre turn of events would be something of an understatement.