LSU football’s New Orleans Saints pipeline appears to close

LSU football's Tiger Stadium (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
LSU football's Tiger Stadium (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

LSU football‘s search for a new defensive coordinator is becoming quite a spectacle.

The Tigers tried to hire Marcus Freeman earlier this month. But Freeman, who was serving as the Cincinnati Bearcats’ defensive coordinator, eschewed LSU for a spot on Brian Kelly’s staff at Notre Dame (Freeman will replace Clark Lea as the Irish’s defensive coordinator).

Ed Orgeron then turned his attention to the NFL.

New Orleans Saints defensive line coach Ryan Nielsen was “finalizing a deal” to become LSU’s new defensive coordinator on Monday.

Usually, when the word “finalizing” is used, it’s all but a done deal.

That wasn’t the case with Nielsen.

LSU Football is now 0-for-2 in its search for new defensive coordinator

Nielsen, who played under Orgeron at USC and coached with him at Ole Miss, wanted to come to Baton Rouge.

But unfortunately for the Tigers, his contract with the Saints wouldn’t allow it.

Apparently there’s language in Nielsen’s contract that prevents him from leaving for a job in college football. The language was strong enough that there was no way LSU could work through it.

This is a bit surprising to me.

It’s not like New Orleans is preventing Nielsen from landing with another NFL team. Becoming the defensive coordinator at LSU would’ve been a promotion for Nielsen

Maybe Sean Payton and the Saints are still sour that Orgeron stole Joe Brady out of New Orleans.

If that’s what’s going on here, then I think we can effectively conclude that the New Orleans/LSU pipeline is closed.

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I think this is a low-down move by the Saints. I feel like they should let Nielsen go to LSU so he can progress in his coaching career. But contracts are contracts and ultimately they have to be honored or they don’t mean anything.