Saints’ Marshon Lattimore Makes Bold Statement Amid Contract Uncertainty

Marshon Lattimore, New Orleans Saints
NFL Analysis Network

Marshon Lattimore’s New Orleans Saints haven’t been in the national conversation much as of late. However, the team’s top cornerback finds himself in the headlines with OTAs and mandatory minicamp having already taken place.

Lattimore made a lot of things clear in a conversation with reporters, via Mike Triplett of New Orleans Football.

“I’m number one, for sure. I’m number one. I want to prove that. I feel like I started last year like that, All-Pro type of season, to me. I’m just ready to be better than that, then what I was. And I’m working towards that. I’m just ready,” he said.

The Saints have seen an influx of defensive talent. However, according to ESPN’s depth chart, the influx of talent hasn’t unseated Lattimore from the top of the pecking order. That said, the cornerback’s contract is the bigger potential catalyst of a change.

According to Spotrac, Lattimore’s contract has provisions that effectively protect him against any early cut in 2024. However, in 2025, the Saints become financially incentivized to move on from their cornerback.

Sensing that, Lattimore has entered a year in which his top goal will be to convince the general manager to keep him around.

Marshon Lattimore’s contract situation sets up for prove-it year with massive implications

If Lattimore plays perfectly, the Saints may be so impressed with the cornerback that they may sign him to a multi-year extension. This will reset the countdown timer. Lattimore is currently signed through 2026. However, earning a sizable contract extension this deep into Lattimore’s 20s is rarified air.

Even Xavien Howard, who is now 30 years old, couldn’t convince the Dolphins to keep him into his 30s after earning 10 interceptions at age 27, per Pro Football Reference.

At some point, every professional athlete reaches an age where teams can no longer be convinced to spend extra. While there might be teams out there willing to take a gamble, that list becomes smaller every season until there is no one left. To have a strong market, at least two teams need to bid for the cornerback.

If Lattimore were to hit free agency tomorrow, he could likely find a couple of teams to bid for him. However, in two or three years, it will be a coin flip. Then, a couple of years after that, Lattimore could find himself out of options.

As such, negotiating for an extension now while looking and playing at a starting caliber level is his only option in what is likely to eventually become a losing battle against Fathertime.

Additionally, Marshon Lattimore inching into an age in which it will make more sense to pursue Super Bowls over money. Unless he wants to retire as a member of the New Orleans Saints, he may want to pursue a championship elsewhere.

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