In what is seen as a mix of odd benevolence and assured confidence, the Saints have released five veterans from the 80-man roster, a full week before the first roster cut down.
The Saints have let go of LB Troy Evans, receivers Mark Bradley and Rod Harper, guard Tim Duckworth, and defensive back Danny Gorrer.
The moves may have been made to let the four players have a shot at catching on with another team before the third preseason game, when NFL teams play their starters the most.
Evans, 32, is the most notable and by far the longest-term Saint of the four, a Saint for three seasons since joining the team before the 2007 season. A Super Bowl ring wearing special teams specialist, Evans played five seasons with the Texans before joining the Saints. Evans has started only two games, both last year, in Miami and Atlanta, when Scott Fujita was unavailable because of injury.
Evans, a special teams captain for the Saints, called the coin toss for New Orleans in Super Bowl XLIV.
The Saints have struggled on coverage teams in two preseason games so far, giving up large returns to both the Patriots and Texans.
Bradley was signed by the Saints two weeks ago but didn't get into to play during either preseason game. Harper hasn't record a catch in either game, though last year during preseason he high-stepped into the end zone against the Texans.
Duckworth, a long-time practice squad player, has been a training camp staple of the team since 2007, but has never made the full roster.
CB Danny Gorrer is in his second tour with the Saints but has not made it onto the regular season roster yet.
Teams don't have to get down to 75 players until August 31. Teams must be down to 53 players on September 4.