Sep 8, 2009

Saints Cut Roster to 53, Stay Busy

Over the weekend, NFL teams had to get their rosters down to 53 players. The Saints made a couple of surprising moves to meet the mandated number.

The major standouts in the cuts were QB Joey Harrington and DE Paul Spicer. I guess the Saints final saw enough of Harrington and figured they needed to go younger with their developmental quarterback. As for Spicer, he was brought in for depth and to fill-in while Will Smith and Charles Grant served their four-game suspensions. But with those suspensions not being enforced yet, Spicer was the odd man out in a now crowded position. He may be brought back once the suspensions are issued, but until then, Grant and Smith will get to play and practice.

Among the other cuts were recent draft picks WR Adrian Arrington and DT DeMario Pressley. Arrington has battled through injuries and wasn't a major contributor on special teams, while Pressley wasn't able to make his mark on the d-line. Other cuts included OG Nate Bennett, OT Mike Brown, C Digger Bujnoch, RB Herb Donaldson, OG Tim Duckworth, CB Danny Gorrer, WR Skyler Green, DT Earl Heyman, RB P.J. Hill, TE Martrez Milner, OT Jeremy Parnell, WR Courtney Roby, WR Matt Simon, LB Anthony Waters, OG/T Anthony Davis. The team also placed TE Bill Miller, S Chip Vaughn and FB Olaniyi Sobomehin on injured reserve.

To help with the now lack of depth at TE with Billy Miller's injury, the Saints traded a 2011 7th round pick to New England for TE David Thomas. Thomas will be behind the 8-ball coming in this late, but he is a talent and has shown signs of being a good pass catcher. He gives the team a young tight end to groom for the future.

With Courtney Roby being released, the team will now look for a new kick returner. That person could be Pierre Thomas again or someone new like Robert Meachem or the surprise of training camp, Rod Harper. Harper had two punt returns for TDs in preseason and solidified his roster spot with his special teams play. He may get a look at kick returner too now.

The Saints also filled their practice squad with some of the familiar names from the above cuts and one surprise new face, who could be groomed into Drew Brees' backup, in QB Chase Daniel. Daniel played in the preseason with the Redskins and could be relied upon as the Saints #3 QB, if he gets signed to the active roster. He's often been compared to Brees, as they are both shorter QBs, so he'll get to learn from the best practicing alongside Brees everyday. Others on the practice squad include Adrian Arrington, DeMario Pressley, P.J. Hill, Danny Gorrer, Tim Duckworth, Jeremy Parnell and Matt Simon.

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