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According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the Saints are looking to clear cap space in part so they can sign the Ohio State product to a long-term contract extension:
It is no surprise that New Orleans wants to keep Lattimore around as it chases a Super Bowl.
The 24-year-old has already surpassed expectations, even though the team selected him with the No. 11 overall pick of the 2017 NFL draft. He was the Defensive Rookie of the Year in his first season with a career-best five interceptions and quickly established himself as the No. 1 cornerback in the secondary.
Lattimore made the Pro Bowl as a rookie and in each of the last two seasons, which is particularly impressive considering he faces some of the league’s best wide receivers every year. He has battled pass-catching groups that include Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley and more while helping lead the Saints to the playoffs in each of his four seasons.
Unfortunately, New Orleans has not advanced past the NFC Championship Game in any of those years despite being on the short list of title contenders. That isn’t Lattimore’s fault, but there are questions about how much longer the current core has together with 42-year-old quarterback Drew Brees‘ future in the air.
Keeping Lattimore, who is currently heading into the final year of his contract, will help the Saints compete both in the immediate future and seasons down the line.