August 21, 2007

Saints Cut Three, Including Baker: QB who got references from Romo, Bledsoe cut

The Saints have released three players in advance of next Tuesday's first roster cutdown and before their fourth preseason game: QB Matt Baker, and offensive linemen Jake Kuresa and Nick Sobic.

Baker, who played most of the fourth quarter against the Bengals on Saturday, did okay for a player with limited time in the system. He showed good feet and a lively arm, and was signed by the Saints after Sean Payton received personal recommendations from his former Dallas teammates Tony Romo and Drew Bledsoe. That Baker wasn't terrible in his Saturday performance likely means that the Saints have chosen to keep QB Tyler Palko, who played almost all of the Saints' second preseason game. The other quarterback vying for the #3 job is Jason Fife, who hasn't seperated himself from Palko.

The Saints started last season without a third quarterback, chosing to keep only Drew Brees and Jamie Martin on the roster. Depending on the Saints' injury situation at the start of the regular season, that may happen again. Palko, the undrafted rookie out of Pittsburgh who is one of Payton's favorite students, has displayed inconsistent mechanics and some poor decisions in the midst of remarkable poise and gamesmanship. He and top draft pick Robert Meachem hooked up for a beautifully-thrown and masterfully-caught fade route touchdown in the Superdome against Buffalo in the second preseason game.

Kuresa and Sobic, undrafted rookies, didn't get into the Saints' third preseason game.

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