The Saints have announced their final cuts on their way to the 53-man roster. After dropping nine players on Friday, 13 more were released on Saturday with the NFL's deadline.
Among the cuts are three of four 2007 second-day draft picks, including RB Antonio Pittman, whom the Saints traded up for, fifth round pick CB David Jones and seventh round pick MLB Marvin Mitchell. Fourth round pick LT Jermon Bushrod made the team.
The move to cut Pittman in favor of undrafted rookie Pierre Thomas shows a great amount of humility and objective judgement on the Saints' part. Thomas, undrafted out of Illinois, who exploded in the final two preseason games and finished exhibition play with 190 rushing yards, 58 receiving yards and three touchdowns, made the team along with runningback Aaron Stecker. Adding in his kickoff returns, Thomas had 349 yards of total offense.
Also cut were veterans DE's Anton Palepoi and Willie Evans, safties Curry Burns and Chris Reis, FB Kevin Dudley, WR Tramain Hall, CB Anwar Phillips and G Dave Yovanovits. Undrafted rookies G Tim Duckworth and QB Tyler Palko were also cut, signaling that the Saints will once again keep only two quarterbacks on their regular season roster.
The Saints are expected to keep Palko on the practice squad this season, unless another team signs him to their 53-man roster.
The Saints have retained six wide receivers, including newcomers top pick Robert Meachem, return man Lance Moore, and veteran David Patten to go with holdovers Marques Colston, Devery Henderson and Terrance Copper.
Also making the team were DT McKinley Boykin and TE John Owens, as the Saints chose to keep nine defensive linemen and four tight ends.