Cameron Jordan hired as an analyst for upstart USFL

Cameron Jordan to work as an analyst for upstart USFL alongside Jason Garrett and Michael Robinson:

This flew under the radar when the United States Football League announced it on Tuesday, April 12, but New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan has another big gig coming up soon: working as an analyst for the upstart USFL. This spring league will kick off on Saturday, April 16 at 6:30 p.m. CT with a contest between the New Jersey Generals and Birmingham Stallions from Protective Stadium in Birmingham, Ala.

The game will be broadcast on both NBC and FOX, with Jordan joining a panel of analysts including former NFL head coach Jason Garrett and longtime NFL Network analyst Michael Robinson to share their insight on the game. Play-by-play duties will be managed by NBC Sports’ Jac Collinsworth and Paul Burmeister.

Jordan has worked extensively in sports media over the years — often making studio appearances on ESPN and NFL Network, but most interestingly working as a sideline reporter for the XFL during its short-lived 2020 season. He’s got a clear future in front of cameras whenever he’s finished playing football, and this is another great opportunity for the seven-time Pro Bowler to pad his resume.

He’s certainly playing for the right team to parlay his pro experience into a turn to media. Many of Jordan’s former Saints teammates have since gone on to work for ESPN (Reggie Bush, Benjamin Watson, and Roman Harper), FOX (Jonathan Vilma), NBC (Drew Brees), and other platforms after hanging up their cleats. Longtime Saints head coach Sean Payton is also still weighing offers from interested networks after stepping down from his post earlier this offseason. Jordan is putting himself on the right path to joining them.

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Cameron Jordan on Sean Payton’s sudden retirement: ‘I took it personal’

Cameron Jordan reflects on Sean Payton’s sudden retirement, admitting “I took it personal”

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A lot has been said about the New Orleans Saints hiring Dennis Allen as head coach to help preserve the team’s culture, and few players stand taller in the locker room than Cameron Jordan. Jordan spoke about the transition during a recent appearance on the Rich Eisen Show. When asked about this immediate reaction to news that Sean Payton was stepping down from his post, Jordan reflected on a couple of awkward days in which he had to gather his thoughts.

“I went social media dark, I had to figure out my feelings first. It’s like when your life asks you how you feel about the new couch, I have to sit in it first,” Jordan joked.

Jordan is the longest-tenured player on the team, having started nearly every game he’s played since being drafted way back in 2011. As he went on to say, life without Payton was going to hit him harder than most: “There’s a lot of factors that go into my head coach, the only head coach that I’ve had in the NFL taking a reprieve, or a sabbatical, or whatever he’s going to call it. Because he didn’t say he’s done coaching, in fact he said ‘I look forward to coaching again,’ right? So you’re saying he’s done with me? I took it personal.”

Sure, Jordan felt empathy for Payton after so many years on the job. Few people have had a front row seat to the work Payton has put in. He continued:

“Look as a business decision he put 16 years of his life into the Saints. You know the amount of work that goes into being a head coach. I’ve seen him have the cot in the room, spending multiple days there, I know how intuitive his offense, Drew, everybody was, tweaking the machine that was the New Orleans Saints offense for so many years. That takes a toll.”

But at the end of the day, Payton’s decision to bow out now didn’t sit well with Jordan. He reflected on all the challenges their team overcame last season, and how now he and his teammates have got to keep on moving without the only head coach they’ve ever known.

“I’m like why you going to leave now? We’ve been knocking on the door of the playoffs every year, even in this tumultuous year, being displaced to Dallas, starting 52 or 53 starters, I’m going to say 58 because it’s a bigger number. Going through four quarterbacks and still having a shot at the playoffs at the end of the year and ending in the positive. What were we, 9-8? Teams prior to this we’ve seen teams get into the playoffs with a losing record,” Jordan paused, then finished: “For Sean to step down, it’s got to be bigger than football for him.”

At the same time, Jordan was congratulatory about Allen’s promotion to head coach, adding that they won’t hold his disastrous Raiders run against him. Though he did note Allen immediately responded to his text message about the news, whereas he didn’t hear back from Payton right away. Maybe they’ll have time to mend fences another day.

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Cameron Jordan makes his recruiting pitch to Aaron Rodgers

New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan made his recruiting pitch to embattled Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers on ESPN:

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Cameron Jordan isn’t interested in being complacent. The New Orleans Saints defensive end watched his head coach step away from the team on Tuesday and was hitting his television spots by Thursday, and he’s got an important message to share: the Saints aren’t going under just because Sean Payton isn’t at the helm.

As far as Jordan is concerned, his team has what it takes to compete against anyone — including suitors for embattled Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. He made a public appeal to Rodgers to consider a trade to New Orleans, from one California Golden Bear to another:

“I heard he had some rifts with his last head coach, so I’m just saying, maybe come pick one out!” Jordan laughed during an appearance on ESPN’s Get Up morning show. While Rodgers has frequently wilted in the playoffs, ending his last four postseason campaigns with an average deficit of 12 points, he’d enjoy a stronger supporting cast in New Orleans. The Saints defense is better than the Packers defense. Michael Thomas is better than Davante Adams, and Alvin Kamara is better than everyone in the Green Bay backfield combined. It might be a more appealing destination than at first glance, especially if he can pick the head coach he wants to work with.

And Rodgers has infamously grappled for control with the Packers brass, fussing to the media in hopes of earning more input for personnel decisions. Like Tom Brady, he’s one of the most gifted passers of his generation. And he wants to be treated like Brady when the team around him is being built. Maybe those concessions are worth considering for New Orleans.

“I’m not sure what kind of, like, access top tier quarterbacks get, I’m a defensive end I just worry about hitting the next quarterback,” Jordan added, acknowledging that general manager Mickey Loomis and team owner Gayle Benson are the ones calling the shots. He continued, “But you know quarterbacks normally have a bit more executive say than regular players, so I’m just saying, maybe this could help us out in the long run.”

Hey, you can’t blame Jordan for trying. Buccaneers fans certainly aren’t complaining after Brady brought them a Super Bowl title after decades of irrelevance. If Rodgers has any interest in coming to New Orleans, victim complex and all, the Saints should make a call. Talents like his come around only rarely. It’s why you tolerate all the baggage he brings with him.

As for Jordan: he’s a special talent, too. It’s clear from his guest appearances on ESPN and NFL Network that he’s comfortable in front of the camera, and he should enjoy a very successful media career once he’s ready to hang up his cleats. And if he keeps up his current pace, he’ll be able to market himself to employers (when the time comes) as the Saints’ all-time sacks leader. His 12.5 sacks in 2021 put him up to 107 in his career, trailing only Pro Football Hall of Famer Rickey Jackson (115) in New Orleans’ record books. If he surpasses Jackson, maybe Jordan winds up in the Hall of Fame himself. But let’s not worry too much about that until the time is right.

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Cameron Jordan wins another NFC Defensive Player of the Week award

Cameron Jordan wins his second NFC Defensive Player of the Week award in three weeks:

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Three cheers for Cameron Jordan: the New Orleans Saints defensive end has won recognition as Week 17’s NFC Defensive Player of the Week after racking up 3.5 sacks against the Carolina Panthers. It’s the second time he’s won this award in the last three weeks, stringing together 7.5 sacks across his last three games.

It’s also a best-case scenario for the big defensive end, who started the year slowly and was beginning to look a little long in the tooth. But Jordan’s big second-half surge has done a lot to build confidence in the odds he’ll finish his NFL career in New Orleans. The Saints need to figure out something with his 2022 salary cap hit (which ranks fourth-highest on the team at $22.6 million), but let’s hope that’s a problem for another day.

For now, Jordan has a big opportunity to help his team keep playing with another big game in Week 18. He’ll face off with the Atlanta Falcons and Matt Ryan, his favorite quarterback to sack in the NFL — Jordan has sacked Ryan more often than any other player has sacked a quarterback in league history (22 times). The Saints still need some help to secure a postseason berth, but more impact plays from Jordan would really help them go the distance.

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Watch: Cameron Jordan leads the Saints pregame huddle

Cameron Jordan stepped in for Demario Davis and Kwon Alexander to lead the Saints pregame huddle before kickoff with Miami:

The pregame speech has become an important ritual for the New Orleans Saints over the years, with Drew Brees’ weekly speeches giving way to Demario Davis’ passionate deliveries. But neither of them were available on Monday night against the Miami Dolphins. Davis’ usual partner in the huddle, Kwon Alexander, was unavailable too. So naturally speculation swirled on social media as to who would step into the role.

It ended up being Cameron Jordan. Regularly voted a team captain, Jordan has been known for leading by example rather than by his words — he’s funny and charismatic but isn’t really a rah-rah “rally the troops” kind of guy. So it was surprising to see him address his teammates in the Caesars Superdome end zone, which we’ve embedded above.

Let’s hope his message resonates. The Saints need all hands on deck to handle the Dolphins after losing dozens of players to the COVID-19 reserve list. If they’re going to come away with a win, it’ll be because Jordan and those around him made some game-changing plays.

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Cameron Jordan recognized as NFC Defensive Player of the Week

Cameron Jordan recognized as NFC Defensive Player of the Week

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New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan was recognized as NFC Defensive Player of the Week for Week 15 after his efforts against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, spearheading his defense’s historic shutout against Hall of Fame-bound quarterback Tom Brady. Jordan finished the day with two sacks, which put his career total at 100.5 — making him only the second defender in franchise history to pass the century mark.

Jordan was also credited with four quarterback pressures in total, four defensive stops, and a forced fumble. Pro Football Focus defines stops as:

  • On a first down, if the offense gets 45% of the way to a first down or less
  • On a second down, if the offense gets 60% of the way to a first down or less
  • On a third or fourth down, if the offense doesn’t get a first down

So it’s pretty impressive to see him playing at such a high level after missing a game while in COVID-19 protocols. When Jordan is playing his best, everyone around him is able to level up, too. Let’s hope he can keep up the pace as the season draws to a close.

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Cameron Jordan, Ty Montgomery activated from COVID-19 reserve list

Saints’ Cameron Jordan, Ty Montgomery activated from COVID-19 reserve

They’re back: the New Orleans Saints activated defensive end Cameron Jordan and wide receiver Ty Montgomery from the COVID-19 reserve list, per Thursday’s update to the daily NFL transactions wire. That leaves running back Mark Ingram as the only player still in league COVID-19 protocols — fingers crossed he returns soon while no other teammates join him.

Jordan’s return, specifically, is a big boost for a Saints defensive line that could use all the help it can get. He returns just in time to face Tom Brady and the heavily-favored Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday night. And while Jordan has seen some regression over the last two years as a decade-long streak of starts begins to weigh on him, he’s been a big factor in New Orleans’ success against Brady.

As a team the Saints have sacked Brady 12 times and intercepted him 7 times, also forcing a pair of fumbles, in four meetings since he landed in the NFC South last season. He’s thrown 8 touchdown passes and run for another in that span but gone 1-3 against New Orleans. Whatever the formula to beating Brady is, the Saints have been able to find it. Getting Jordan back in the lineup should do a lot to help them chase it one more time.

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Cameron Jordan’s 172-game streak to end on COVID-19 list vs. Jets

Cameron Jordan’s 172-game streak to end on COVID-19 list vs. Jets

This is tough: it doesn’t appear the New Orleans Saints will have defensive end Cameron Jordan on the field in Sunday’s game with the New York Jets. Jordan was placed on the COVID-19 reserve list earlier this week after testing positive, and wasn’t able to clear league protocol prior to the team’s departure on Saturday. Jordan wished his teammates well on Twitter and called for defensive linemen David Onyemata and Marcus Davenport to “lead the charge” in his absence.

If Jordan isn’t able to make it out of protocol in time, it’ll end his 172-game streak of games played in the black and gold. That’s not just the longest active streak on the team, but across the NFL. Jordan hasn’t missed a game since entering the league back in 2011.

That’s going to be a difficult loss for the Saints to work around. Even if Jordan has regressed this season, New Orleans could still use his help in the rotation. Without him they’re left with only Marcus Davenport, Carl Granderson, and Jalyn Holmes available to suit up. Payton Turner and Tanoh Kpassagnon remain on injured reserve. Hopefully the Saints pass rush is able to heat up without them.

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Cameron Jordan put on COVID-19 reserve after positive test result

Cameron Jordan put on COVID-19 reserve after positive test result

That’s a bummer: New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan was designated to the NFL’s COVID-19 reserve list on Monday following a positive test result, per the NFL daily transactions wire. The Times-Picayune | Advocate’s Amie Just reported that Jordan is fully vaccinated and asymptomatic, meaning he may return to the team as soon as he tests negative on two consecutive days.

But it still puts his status in jeopardy for Sunday’s road game with the New York Jets. Jordan has never missed a game since the Saints selected him out of California way back in the 2011 NFL draft, putting up one of the great iron-man performances in franchise history. Hopefully he’s able to recover quickly and keep his 172-game streak alive.

New Orleans is terribly thin at the position if he can’t go. Carl Granderson and Jalyn Holmes are their only healthy defensive ends with Jordan out; Marcus Davenport has missed time recently with a shoulder injury while Payton Turner and Tanoh Kpassagnon remain on injured reserve.

A group that looked awful strong in the summer has been whittled down to a point where defensive tackles like David Onyemata may have to move outside just to keep the rotation intact. Here’s to a full and speedy recovery for Jordan.

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Cameron Jordan says NFL hit him with random drug test after casual backflip

Cameron Jordan says NFL hit him with random drug test after casual backflip

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Let no good expression of world-class athleticism go unpunished. That’s the lesson Cameron Jordan learned when he received notice from the NFL that he’s been summoned for a random test for performance enhancing drugs, just days after the big New Orleans Saints defensive end was spotted passing on a helping hand from teammate Marcus Williams to roll backwards and flip onto his feet (check it out in the video below).

Jordan’s always-high energy level has been one of his best qualities as a pro, allowing him to continue pressuring quarterbacks late into games during some very long seasons. And acrobatic displays like this at north of 280 pounds (285 to be exact, he’s quick to remind us) help reinforce that.

He has had two sacks in back-to-back games and has benefited from David Onyemata and Marcus Davenport’s return to the lineup. Let’s see what he has in store against Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons, his most favorite opponent to throw to the ground, on Sunday. Ryan has been sacked by Jordan 21 times in 20 games together. That’s an NFL record for the most times a quarterback has been sacked by a single defender. Hopefully Jordan can extend his lead while chasing the elusive century mark (he’s currently up to 96.5 sacks in 167 career regular season games).

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