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Cameron Jordan says retirement isn’t an option in 2024: ‘I love the Saints too much’

It’s been a rough year for Cameron Jordan. The New Orleans Saints’ perennial Pro Bowler fell off in 2023, finishing with just two sacks and likely missing the annual all-star event (unless he gets in as an alternate). Pro Football Focus charting ranked Jordan’s 45 quarterback pressures as the 44th-most among defensive ends around the league, despite ranking 29th in pass-rush snaps (449).

He just wasn’t productive enough. Now 34 years old (and turning 35 this summer), Jordan acknowledged that his numbers aren’t where they needed to be. But he isn’t ready to call it a career just yet.

“I love the Saints too much to retire,” Jordan told local media at his locker on Monday. “I love this locker room, I love everything about it. I’ve got too much juice to give.”

Jordan rattled off his list of complaints from the 2023 season — a lingering ankle injury that had him playing “like a freaking shell of myself” in the back half of the schedule, along with losses to the Packers, the Texans, and the Falcons in Atlanta. But he likes the way the Saints finished the season playing strong on both sides of the ball, even if he wishes that kind of consistency had manifested earlier in the season.

So he’ll be back in 2024, which makes sense when you look at his contract (he’s signed through 2025). What the plan is for him remains to be seen. Jordan remains a strong run defender, anchoring the left end of the line and tracking the ball well in the backfield, but he’s lost a step moving forwards as a pass rusher. Too often he’s a step slow to close on the quarterback and finish the sack.

Maybe the answer is moving him inside to rush against slow-footed guards, as some older defensive ends have tried around the league. Or the Saints could ask him to rush the quarterback less often altogether and focus on winning the first two downs. Jordan ranked second on the team in pass rush snaps (449) by a wide margin. Young draft picks like Marcus Davenport, Payton Turner, and Isaiah Foskey haven’t panned out. The Saints need to keep trying to find someone who can take some pressure off Jordan’s shoulders in that role.

Jordan added that he won’t be vacationing with his family in Spain like he did last summer; he’s planning to dial in and train his body so he can get back to performing at his usual standards. “There’s some things I need to clean up. And as much as I needed last offseason to happen, it takes a lot to be committed to your craft. That was great for the mentals, but I feel like in a physical aspect, and even in a team aspect, there’s more to give.”

He added, “I’m already looking forward to a revenge arc.”

Story originally appeared on Saints Wire