Sean Payton explains Saints’ decision to trade for LB Kiko Alonso

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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - The Saints’ weekend of roster re-shaping was capped off Sunday by a trade for linebacker Kiko Alonso from the Dolphins, in exchange for fellow linebacker Vince Biegel.

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton walks the field as his team warms up before a preseason NFL football game against the New York Jets Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)

Alonso has started 63 games over his six-year career with three different teams and Sean Payton sees his addition as one of pure value “My expectation is that he comes in and competes,” he said by conference call Monday morning. “There will be a transition period and we’ll let that sort itself out but we feel like we’ve got a group of players that we have a lot of confidence in. The depth at that position has changed just a little bit and for us, it was really an opportunity to add a good player to the roster. I think it’d be premature to try to anticipate how it unfolds but we feel like he’s someone that we’ve played against. He’s a tremendous effort player. You see it, feel it when he plays so we’ll be exciting to welcome him here and find the right role as the season progresses.”

Linebackers Alex Anzalone and Craig Robertson missed time in the preseason and while the Saints don’t reveal any injury statuses until the regular season, Payton updated those players’ health in relation to the Alonso acquisition “It was more about his availability and the compensation and then us looking at that position group and really trying to help out our football team. We feel like Alex is going to be healthy for the start of this season and Craig will be someone that we’ll discuss basically day-to-day and see where he’s at but a lot of it had to do with just adding another good football player.”

The first league-mandated injury report will come out Thursday as the Saints prepare to kick their season off on Monday, September 9th by hosting the Houston Texans.

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