A snapshot of the news emanating from New Orleans this offseason doesn't scream positivity.
Two of the Saints top offensive linemen, Max Unger and Terron Armstead, have undergone surgery. New Orleans traded speedy No. 1 receiver Brandin Cooks, replacing him with speedy No. 3 receiver Ted Ginn. Sean Payton added Adrian Peterson to an already crowded backfield, then traded up in the draft to add shifty tailback Alvin Kamara.
The Saintsflirted with drafting quarterback Patrick Mahomes and linebacker Reuben Foster in the first round, and instead landed starting corner Marshon Lattimore and left tackle Ryan Ramczyk. Starting defensive tackle Nick Fairley got tests on his heart condition, the severity of which is in question and could conceivably end his career.
The stream of news doesn't suggest a Super Bowl contender in a deep NFC South division. Yet, June is optimism season for every NFL team.
"We're building a team to win a Super Bowl," Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan told Greg Bishop, writing for TheMMQB.com. "We're not building for the future. It's hard not to believe in our team. We're ready to win it now."
The Saints have finished 7-9 the past three seasons. (Fun fact: In 10 years in New Orleans, Sean Payton has as many 7-9 finishes -- four -- as the "7-9 b-------" King Jeff Fisher had in 22 years of coaching.)
It's easy to dismiss Jordan's Super Bowl talk as offseason chatter. The reason to believe in a Saints turnaround sits under center, where Drew Brees continues to be among the best quarterbacks in NFL history.
"Is there a better quarterback? You tell me how many 5,000-yard seasons have been produced in NFL history."
There have been nine 5,000-yard passing seasons in history. Jordan correctly points out that Brees has five of those years.
The addition of Peterson this offseason suggests Payton wants to take some of the workload off Brees' 38-year-old arm. If both future Hall of Famers perform at peak level, New Orleans will boast the most potent and balanced offense in the NFL.
Still owning major questions on defense, especially at linebacker and pass rush, the Saints need the offense to carry the day if they are going to march back to the playoffs for the first time since 2013.