Sean Payton's Playing Draft Rumor Chess With Kyle Trask Talk

Sean Payton.
Sean Payton. / Chris Graythen/Getty Images

A report emerged from ESPN's Jeremy Fowler yesterday that the Saints are interested in Florida quarterback Kyle Trask. Further context was not provided, but the sexy NFL Draft rumor spread fast and suddenly everyone was wondering, "what in the sam hell are the Saints actually doing at quarterback in 2021?"

Perhaps no one was happier about this rumor making the rounds than Saints head coach Sean Payton. This is NFL Draft misdirection season. Whenever you hear a team likes a player, you have to question what the motive is for letting that nugget slip. In this case, the motive seems to be diverting attention from Payton's true intention.

If the Saints/Payton really liked Trask and wanted to draft him, they would do everything in their power to keep that under wraps. They wouldn't want their draft competition knowing their true intention. In this case, this seems like a move aimed at making other teams think they're drafting Trask and pressure those who actually like him to move up ahead of the Saints to get their man. Then the Saints draft whoever they actually wanted all along. Seems smart, right?

The Saints currently have quarterbacks Jameis Winston, Taysom Hill and Trevor Siemian on their roster. They were over the salary cap this offseason, which led to several key contributors from their team last year leaving. It also created holes on the roster they now need to fill through the draft. Quarterback is not one of them.

Payton and the Saints have done a fantastic job of keeping secrets they actually care about from leaking to the press through the years. Last season we had a perfect example of that when Payton hid that Hill was starting at quarterback heading into Week 11 after Drew Brees got hurt and not Winston, who initially replaced Brees when he was injured in their Week 10 game. You think Payton would decide to show his hand on Trask? Neither do I. Not when it's such an important position.

The Saints have the No. 28 pick in the draft this year. Trask is projected to be a second- or third-round pick. The Saints have bigger issues along their defense than at quarterback. They're expected to focus on that side of the ball early. Or maybe this rumor is true and Trask is their appointed successor to Brees. Given Payton's history, however, the odds don't favor it.