The Saints are looking to move on from cornerback Delvin Breaux.
The team has begun looking for a trade partner after growing frustrated with his injury history over the past three years, a source told The Advocate on Monday. There is already some interest from other teams around the league.
Coach Sean Payton declined comment when asked about the situation Monday.
"We would never comment if we were to begin with (seeking a trade), and it rarely works that way," Payton said. "It's very normal throughout training camp for teams to discuss different players and possible trades. ... That would be club business."
A talented cornerback when healthy, Breaux has had trouble staying on the field the past few seasons. He has missed more than a week of training-camp practice with a leg contusion after he finished last year on injured reserve with a shoulder sprain. He also suffered a broken fibula in Week 1 of last season.
New Orleans recently has moved on from other talented but oft-injured players such as linebacker Dannell Ellerbe, cornerback Keenan Lewis and safety Jairus Byrd. Payton has made it a point when discussing some of these transactions that being available to play is as pivotal as any other trait.
"I think it's important to be out here, but I wouldn't want to get into specifics as to each one of these guys," Payton said. "But availability obviously is probably as important as everything else."
CLEVELAND – Ken Crawley, P.J. Williams and De'Vante Harris have found themselves squarely in…
Breaux emerged as one of the team’s more promising players in 2015 after it signed him out of the Canadian Football League. He finished that season with three interceptions and 19 passes defensed.
But Breaux hasn’t been able to continue that momentum amid a rash of injuries. He appeared in just six games last season and never appeared right. He has been out of action since being leg whipped in training camp and suffering a contusion.
"That's one of our guys; we're always supportive of one of our teammates," safety Rafael Bush said. "But I think that's something that he has to mentally be able to conquer himself, just to get back out here when he's right. You can never question the man's heart; you can never question a man's ability or pain tolerance or whatever he's suffering right now, but we're in his corner."
New Orleans has been pursuing options to upgrade its secondary throughout the offseason. The team brought in restricted free agent cornerback Malcolm Butler for a visit but did not reach an agreement on trade compensation with the New England Patriots.
The Saints also selected cornerback Marshon Lattimore, who is working his way back from a knee sprain, in the first round of the draft, and they like what they have in cornerback P.J. Williams. Lattimore was present at practice Monday and engaged in some individual drills; he is expected to return soon.
Payton has also said the team is encouraged by how young players such as cornerbacks Ken Crawley and De'Vante Harris are progressing in their second seasons. New Orleans also has other options at the position, including Sterling Moore and undrafted rookie Arthur Maulet.
"These guys are playing well," Payton said. "I like the competition, and Marshon was back out there today and he's close."
Breaux, a New Orleans native, played high school football at McDonogh 35, where he suffered a broken neck on a special teams play in 2006. He attended LSU but did not play football. After stints playing arena football and in the CFL, he hooked on in New Orleans.
The cornerback said this offseason that he was on a mission to remind everyone how he played as a rookie and that he was looking to get back to that level.
“My confidence level is at an all-time high,” Breaux said. “I worked my behind off this offseason. It’s time to be that Pro Bowl or All-Pro-type guy. I’ve just been working, man.”
When healthy, the Saints believe he can be that type of player. But they're ready to move forward with players they know will be available and can stay on the field.
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