Saints disputing whether Ryan Nielsen’s contract allows him to leave

Saints defensive line coach Ryan Nielsen wants to join Ed Orgeron’s staff at LSU, and a deal seems (or seemed?) imminent.

LSU coach Ed Orgeron even went on WWL Radio on Monday afternoon and said of Nielsen, via Julie Boudwin of Rivals: “We are in the process. Ryan is a prime candidate for us. Love Ryan. . . . We in the process of figuring out who we’re going to hire, and I think we’re very close.”

Jane Slater of NFL Media, who reported the original news that Nielsen was leaving the Saints to become LSU’s defensive coordinator, now reports that the Saints aren’t letting Nielsen go easily.

“Apparently there is a dispute on whether the language of Nielsen’s contract will support the move to the college ranks,” Slater writes. “The Saints are currently NOT signing off on this.”

So Nielsen and LSU will have to work out contract issues with the Saints before he can leave the NFL team.

Nielsen just finished his fourth season on the Saints staff. It was his first job in the NFL after 15 years at the collegiate level.

Either way, the Saints will have turnover on their staff with assistant head coach/tight ends coach Dan Campbell expected to become the head coach of the Lions. He could take defensive backs coach Aaron Glenn with him as his new defensive coordinator and/or other Saints’ assistant coaches also could leave for Detroit.