Sean Payton carries with him two regrets.
The first was letting Rob Ninkovich go. Watching the pass rusher flourish in New England pained the Saints coach, and he could never hide his disappointment with himself whenever New Orleans was preparing to play the Patriots. The other was letting Malcolm Jenkins walk to Philadelphia.
Losing Jenkins was indicative of many of the things that caused the Saints to slip into mediocrity for three years. A lack of leadership, which Jenkins provided, became a significant issue as the locker room deteriorated. And the decision to let Jenkins go and sign Jairus Byrd was one of many poor roster moves that plagued the Saints for several years as they stacked dead money I.O.U.'s like Scrooge McDuck hoards gold coins.
So, it is kind of funny that during one of the quieter and more responsible offseasons the Saints have had in recent memory, Jenkins is finally making his way back to New Orleans. His signing comes after the Saints walked away from the negotiations involving linebacker Jamie Collins, and saw itself priced out on other players like linebacker Cory Littleton.