Saints finally steal a player from Sean Payton

The New Orleans Saints have finally stolen a player from Sean Payton and the Broncos

Sean Payton, Denver Broncos
Sean Payton, Denver Broncos / Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
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Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton has brought plenty of former New Orleans Saints players with him to Denver in the 2023 season. A handful of players have been making an impact this season, including tight end Adam Trautman, wide receiver Lil'Jordan Humphrey, kicker Wil Lutz, fullback Michael Burton, and others, but the New Orleans Saints have not really poached anyone away from the Denver Broncos.

That is, until now.

The Saints do have a couple of former Denver Broncos draft picks on their roster (OL Max Garcia, CB Isaac Yiadom), but they now have a player on their roster that they specifically poached away from Sean Payton's Broncos. That player is defensive tackle PJ Mustipher, a practice squad player and promising young rookie for the Broncos.

At this point in the season, it's hard to blame Mustipher for seeking out other opportunities around the league. The Saints offered him a 53-man roster spot, and that's a tough deal for any young player to pass up. The Broncos have had their struggles on the defensive line this season, but even with some struggles, we haven't seen Mustipher get an opportunity.

Interior defensive linemen to play for the Broncos this season include Zach Allen, DJ Jones, Mike Purcell, Jonathan Harris, Matt Henningsen, Elijah Garcia, and Tyler Lancaster. The only other player on the practice squad or active roster who has yet to play is Jordan Jackson, ironically a player who was previously drafted by the New Orleans Saints.

NFL.com Draft analyst Lance Zierlein had this to say in his evaluation of Mustipher as a prospect:

"Mustipher was a high-character leader for the Nittany Lions and brings good thickness to the position. He’s a little too gradual off the snap to create stress for blockers and fails to control the action with force or hand usage. Mustipher’s below-average athletic profile and limited impact on games will make it difficult for him to work his way onto an NFL roster."

Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

The Broncos replaced Mustipher on their practice squad with former Maryland pass rusher and undrafted rookie Durell Nchami. We'll see if anything comes of that pickup, but typically this time of year, you are working out players and filling out your practice squad with guys who can potentially be intriguing risk/reward options in the offseason.

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The Saints were clearly getting ahead of the game by adding Mustipher, who they must have had a strong pre-draft grade on. Even though Mustipher cleared waivers in September, the Saints likely had him marked as someone that they would want as an injury replacement at a certain point in the season to get a look in their program. It should be a great opportunity for him.


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