Love & Money
While Anthony Davis is bucking money for perceived opportunity, Cameron Jordan puts his team in a position to win and gets paid, too
While one of New Orleans biggest’ biggest sports stars is looking to leave, another got a huge pay day for staying.
Since January, there has been drama surrounding New Orleans Pelicans’ center/forward Anthony Davis’ desire to leave the Crescent City in order to compete for a championship.
This week, the New Orleans Saints re-signed the bedrock of their defense, end Cameron Jordan, to a three-year $52.5 million deal with a maximum value of $55.5 million with added incentives and $42 million guaranteed.
For Gayle Benson, who owns both teams, and the fans of both clubs, each player has presented a case study in brand management and community relations.
Davis, 26, is eligible for the largest contract in NBA history, a 5-year deal worth $230 million that would start in 2020. But, he wants to take his talents elsewhere – for a lower pay day. He should talk to former teammate DeMarcus Cousins who boogied out of NOLA before this season to take a chance on winning a championship with the Golden State Warriors. Unfortunately for him, playing on what is essentially an All-Star team, didn’t work out for Cousins. The Warriors were bounced four games to two in the NBA Finals last night.
Whereas Davis turned adoration into animosity, Jordan has behaved like a leader the player of his caliber is.
Jordan, who will turn 30 in July, by comparison was elated that he’ll have the opportunity to compete for championships in New Orleans. On his Twitter feed announcing the deal, he wrote, “God has blessed me and my family for another opportunity to stay with the team I love for another stint. Eight years completed in the 504, can’t tell you how elated I am to know that I’m valued in this organization.”
Jordan’s deal, which was stuck with two years remaining on his previous contract, will keep him in the Black & Gold through the 2023 season. He is a team captain and has been the heart of the team’s pass rush since he first arrived as a first-round draft pick in 2011. He signed a five-year, $55 million extension in June 2015.
It’s easy to understand why the Saints wanted to ensure Jordan will stay in New Orleans. He’s intelligent, a fantastic player on the field and a leader in the locker room and community.
His new contract, worth an average of $17.5 million per year, makes him the fourth-highest paid defensive end in the NFL. As deals get bigger every year, signing him now will likely keep him in New Orleans for the remainder of his career.
“I want to continue winning here. I want a championship here. I want to continue building a legacy right here for the Saints. And this gives me the chance to do so…. And thank you to the fans (who) have stayed loyal and always shown the greatest enthusiasm, and I know will continue to do so. I hope to continue to keep having phenomenal interactions with Who Dat Nation forever.”
In his pro career, Jordan has 71.5 career sacks in eight seasons, including 25 the past two years. There is no doubt that his leadership and production is a major reason the Saints have made it to the divisional round of the playoffs in 2017 and the NFC Championship Game last season.
Jordan’s potential has seeming not yet been reached. With an improving defensive unit and assistance from 2018 first-round draft pick Marcus Davenport on the other end of the defensive line, the Saints defense is moving toward the greatness the offense has showed since 2006.
It’s an exciting time for Jordan and all who follow the Saints. Now it’s time for him and his teammates to turn those championship dreams into reality.