Newly-signed Saints LB Willie Gay will compete for a starting job in 2024

When Willie Gay signed with the New Orleans Saints, he spoke about not being judged from a limited snap count in his final season with the Kansas City Chiefs. It was a clear indication that he believed he would come in and compete for a starting job. Players always feel that way, but head coach Dennis Allen affirmed that on Tuesday morning when speaking with reporters at the NFC coaches breakfast during league ownership meetings in Orlando, Fla.

Don’t expect it to be Demario Davis being pushed out of the lineup; he’s shown his 35 years here and there but is consistently playing at a high level. It’s Pete Werner who fell off last season, particularly against the pass. He was picked on in games against the Minnesota Vikings and Los Angeles Rams.

Still, those struggles shouldn’t have been enough for Werner to lose his job after having a strong first two seasons in the league but adding competition is a good response from Allen. Werner struggled in space, and his athleticism was exploited. Athleticism is Gay’s trademark. That attribute doesn’t guarantee him to be the better player, but it is something to watch.

Gay may end up being the Saints’ strongside linebacker. With the lack of depth at the position, that is the likely outcome if he loses the competition. We could also see a rotation at weakside linebacker with Werner and Gay or Werner could lose his starting job altogether. The true story is the Saints saw enough of a decline in Werner’s performance to bring in competition. We’ll see where it goes from here when training camp kicks off in August.

Story originally appeared on Saints Wire