Saints’ Cameron Jordan talks Sean Payton stepping down, his seventh Pro Bowl appearance and more

The 2022 Pro Bowl is set to kick off this Sunday from Las Vegas, and the NFL’s stars have been busy in Sin City with events, promotions and of course the Pro Bowl Skills Showdown. It’s always a fun week for the NFL’s best players, and one of the veterans that’s become a fixture in the All-Star showdown is New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan.

Jordan is making his seventh Pro Bowl appearance this Sunday, and his fifth in a row. This one is special, as he surpasses his father’s Pro Bowl count. Steve Jordan played tight end for the Minnesota Vikings for over a decade, and made six Pro Bowls — all in a row from 1986-91. Now, his son has the upper hand.

“It’s a huge honor, right? To one, be voted amongst your peers to be here, two, it’s my seventh Pro Bowl, so I finally passed Pops in Pro Bowls,” Jordan told CBS Sports this week. “I’m not the low man on the totem pole anymore in terms of Pro Bowls. I got seven, he’s got six, the Jordan men as a collective have 13. It’s pride, it’s a legacy thing.”

While Pro Bowls are fun, don’t get it twisted. Jordan says he would much rather be playing in the Super Bowl. But he also says settling for Vegas this year isn’t so bad.

Jordan will turn 33 this offseason, but he hasn’t slowed down at all. In 2021, he recorded 12.5 sacks, 59 tackles and made 22 QB hits, as the leader of New Orleans’ defense is just as tenacious on the edge as he ever has been. He’s his own motivation, as Jordan says he wants to try to improve every single year. 

“I’ve been so blessed to be in this league for 11 years heading into Year 12, and I’m looking to be even better than I was this past year,” said Jordan. “The idea of never staying stagnant, always pushing forward and being the best you can be by being one percent better every day in some aspect or category of your life is what propels me to be hopefully better than I was this past year.”

Jordan’s 12th year is going to look very different compared to his first 11, as Sean Payton announced last month that he’s stepping down as Saints head coach after 15 seasons. It was a development that shocked the NFL world, as the Super Bowl-winning head coach had long been a fixture in the league and in the city of New Orleans.

“Man, I had no idea,” Jordan responded when asked if he knew Payton would be stepping down this offseason. “I was taken aback just like everybody else was when he released that. I mean, that’s foundation shaking right there. Just because he’s the only head coach I’ve had in the NFL. The last head coach I had was in college! So, major respect to Sean for everything he’s done for the organization, but yeah like everybody else, I was flabbergasted at the time. Since then we’ve talked a few times and I understand where it gets to. After dedicating 16 years of your life to one organization I’m sure it can be mentally taxing and he deserves any reprieve that he needs, any break that he wants. And if he comes back, it better be back with the Saints.”

With a new head coach on the way, another quarterback question to answer and then the worst cap situation in the NFL, the Saints have some work to do this offseason. But, Jordan says that there’s plenty of evidence that shows the Saints are still one of the best teams in the NFL, and nothing is going to stop them from competing for the Super Bowl.

“I’m looking forward to potentially signing Jameis back, having Taysom in the role that he’s excelled at, I’m really looking forward to a healthy Mike Thomas — that right there, you know, we go from a 9-8 team automatically to 11-6. And that’s just on the low end,” said Jordan. “I think with our defense, we have potential to be even better than we were this past year, and that’s before we draft, that’s before we add on. Just looking at the roster knowing our guys in our locker room, our leaders and everything that goes with it, we still have this idea where we can win a championship soon.”

Jordan spoke with CBS Sports in partnering with Hidden Valley Ranch to help stop chicken wing waste. Recently, he helped introduce the Coalition against Wing Waste (CAWW). Check out their website for more info. Follow Hidden Valley on social and post a picture or video of your wings and ranch with #StopWingWaste #Contest. Fans will have the chance to win a year’s supply of wings, autographed items by Cam or great gameday swag.

“As a D-lineman, I get wings like every Thursday during the season. I make my rookie go pick them up, we eat them. It’s sacrilegious to waste the wings. So I was able to partner up with Hidden Valley Ranch and try to stop the wing waste,” said Jordan.

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