WLOX Press Box: Saints hold 12th overall pick, but will Payton s - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

WLOX Press Box: Saints hold 12th overall pick, but will Payton still be around?

UNDATED (WLOX) -

Following the team's 7-9 record for a third time in the last four seasons, the New Orleans Saints will have the 12th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.

Philadelphia, Oakland, St. Louis and Detroit also have 7-9 records, but New Orleans will draft before all of them due to a tiebreaker based on the reverse order of strength of schedule.

Assuming the team doesn't trade the 12th overall slot, it will be the highest position that the Saints will have had since selecting defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis with the No. 7 pick in 2008. 

Mickey Loomis is the current Saints general manager, but he and head coach Sean Payton have not had much success regarding draft picks in recent years. Nobody from the 2012 Saints draft class remains on the team.

Meanwhile, wide receiver Brandin Cooks, who was picked 20th overall two years ago, is the only remaining player from the 2014 Saints draft class.

This offseason is expected to feature multiple changes to the Saints organization not just among the Saints players, but possibly the coaching staff and front office.

Quarterback Drew Brees, who finished the 2015 season with 4,870 passing yards, 32 touchdown passes and his lowest interception total (11) since 2009, has a $30 million cap hit for 2016. Since he's still playing at a very high level, New Orleans will probably want to keep him around, but preferably if he accepts a hometown discount.

The salary cap is expected to rise above $150 million for NFL teams in 2016 from the $143 million in 2015, but that might become a formality for the Saints if Brees doesn't sign an extension that spreads out his earnings over a longer period of time.

Payton avoided losing 10 games in one season for a fourth time since taking over the Saints head coaching duties in 2006. He has guided New Orleans to the playoffs five times, including a Super Bowl title during the 2009 season.

But because of the more recent losing stretch, he has been rumored to numerous head coaching vacancies around the NFL, most San Francisco and Philadelphia.

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