Dennis Allen says Marshon Lattimore will be on Saints in '24

METAIRIE, La. -- New Orleans Saints coach Dennis Allen indicated the team intends to move forward with cornerback Marshon Lattimore after almost six months of trade speculation.

When asked directly by reporters Tuesday if Lattimore would be on the roster in 2024, Allen responded, "Yeah."

Saints general manager Mickey Loomis also answered the question the same way in his pre-draft news conference in April, before admitting he was trying to avoid answering the question.

"Everybody is tradable, it just depends on the offer that you get," Loomis said then. " And yet, that's not very common. ... I don't like trading players that have been contributors for us."

Allen said he and Lattimore had a conversation "two or three weeks ago" to address the trade rumors.

"I just thought it was something we needed to communicate," Allen said. "There's been a lot of talk outside our building about trades and things of that nature. And so I just felt like it was probably time that he and I had a conversation. ... It was a positive conversation and we're looking forward to getting him out when he's here and working with him."

Allen said during the draft that he and Lattimore had not talked in "a while" and that Lattimore had not been in the building during the offseason training program. Allen said Lattimore had been in communication with Saints director of sports science Matt Rhea during that time frame.

"Marshon's one that we haven't had a lot of contact with anyway, so I wouldn't say that this is anything abnormal," Allen said during the draft.

Lattimore was not at OTAs last year but participated in mandatory minicamp, and Allen said that he is not worried about Lattimore being in shape when he shows up.

"I wouldn't say that's been uncommon since probably about 2020," Allen said. "I know he's working hard. I know he's getting himself in the best shape he can get into."

The Saints selected Alabama cornerback Kool-Aid McKinstry with their second-round pick in the 2024 draft, adding to speculation that the team could be preparing for a future without Lattimore at some point. When asked if the McKinstry pick was related to Lattimore's status, Allen said that he has always viewed cornerback depth as important.

"You can never have too many good corners," Allen said during the draft.

The Saints gave Lattimore, a 2017 first-round draft pick, a five-year extension worth $68 million guaranteed at the beginning of the 2021 season. If the Saints were to trade Lattimore, the trade would likely have to occur after June 1 for salary cap purposes due to the significant amount of dead money involved.

He has played only 17 games in the past two seasons due to injury and missed the final seven games of last season.

Running backs Alvin Kamara and Jamaal Williams, defensive ends Chase Young and Tanoh Kpassagnon and right tackle Ryan Ramczyk were also among those not at the first OTA session open to the media. Ramczyk has been dealing with a serious knee injury that could affect his training camp status, and 2022 first-round pick Trevor Penning played right tackle with the first team in his place. Young was not expected to participate because of offseason neck surgery.

"I'd say Alvin is kind of in that same boat where he's been able to train and get himself ready on his own and be prepared and be ready to go when it's time to go," Allen said. "I think for me as a coach, I've got to trust that's what he's doing.

"Every year players go through different phases in their life and then they begin to get other things that pull at them from one way or another. Some may be positive, some may not be positive. Obviously Alvin's got a family now, so that pulls at him in terms of time commitments. ... I think we have to be understanding of that, and yet I do think it's important to have our guys here."