September 5, 2010

2010 Saints get down to 53

In order to get down to 53 men, the Saints placed one on injured reserve, two on PUP, and 19 on the free agent market.

The Saints lost starting WLB Jonathan Casillas for the season with a foot injury, and placed him on injured reserve.

Both veteran FS Darren Sharper and LB Clint Ingram were placed on the regular season Physical Unable to Perform list.  Both spent the entirety of training camp and preseason on the PUP, and now will not be available to hit the 53-man roster until week seven.  At that point, Sharper and Ingram can be promoted to the roster, released or placed on injured reserve.

Then, the Saints cut several players to get from 75 to 53 players.

Former Tulane and veteran QB Patrick Ramsey was released, crowning second year Chase Daniel the primary and only backup to Drew Brees.

At runningback, the Saints faced a tough situation.  RB Chris Ivory was injured on Thursday night in Nashville, suffering an MCL sprain.  RB Pierre Thomas suffered a similar injury early on in 2009.  Ivory will be out for a month.  Ivory, having clearly won the third runningback job, was not placed on injured reserve but will be inactive on the 53-man roster at least for three weeks.  

Recently veteran addition RB DeShawn Wynn won a job on the roster and will serve as the third runningback, at least until Ivory returns.  Veteran RB Ladell Betts was released, because he is not quite back to full speed after a 2009 ACL injury.  Look for Betts to potentially return to the Saints later this season.

At fullback, both FB Zak Keasey and FB Jason McKie were released, leaving only Heath Evans.  At tight end, Tyler Lorezen was cut, leaving veteran Tory Humphrey on the roster as the fourth tight end behind Jeremy Shockey, David Thomas and Jimmy Graham.

At wide receiver, a very spirited competition of young talent ended with six receivers making the team, for now. The Saints have a habit of shifting players on and off the bottom spots on the roster from week to week, so its not a permanent thing, but the Saints did retain both Adrian Arrington and Courtney Roby behind veteran locks Marques Colston, Devery Henderson, Robert Meachem and Lance Moore. 

Rookie speedster Montez Billings from Auburn was cut.  Arrington, a preseason superstar, excelled too much to be snuck onto the practice squad without another team, like the receiver-hungry Vikings, picking him up.

On the offensive line, veteran Terrance Metcalf, once a high-round pick of the Steelers, was released, as was Texas Tech undrafted rookie G Brandon Carter and free agent Na'Shan Goddard.  Backup center Nick Leckey was let go, bumped out of the primary center backup by rookie fifth round pick Matt Tennant, who can also play guard.  Tennant and Zach Strief appear to be the primary backups at guard.

The Saints kept four offensive tackles, waiving athlete Jermey Parnell who is prime for the practice squad.  Strief and second round rookie Charles Brown backup starters Jermon Bushrod and Jon Stinchcomb.

Defensive tackle remains a sore spot for the Saints, and more transactions to add depth at defensive tackle are expected.  The Saints gutted their inventory of youth in the reserve, waiving former fourth round pick DeMario Pressley, rookie fourth round pick Al Woods, and undrafted rookie Jay Ross. Veteran Kendrick Clancy, signed this past week, was also let go and may retire.

Remaining at defensive tackle are starters Sedrick Ellis and Remi Ayodele, backed-up by swing men Anthony Hargrove and Jimmy Wilkerson who also play end.  Not much bulk or depth on the interior offensive line.

At defensive end, veteran Bobby McCray was released, creating a roster spot for undrafted rookie standout Junior Galette.  The Saints also have starters Will Smith and Alex Brown backed up by Jeff Charleston, Hargrove and Wilkerson.

Former LSU LB Harry Coleman, despite scoring a touchdown on special teams in the preseason finale was let go, as was CB Reggie Jones, whose bad showing in Nashville sunk his dark horse chances to make the roster.

The Saints also waived 2009 fourth round pick S Chip Vaughn, who was squeezed out of a tight numbers game at safety.  The Saints kept five safeties, starters Malcolm Jenkins and Roman Harper are backed up by Usama Young and Pierson Prioleau.  Special teams captain Chris Reis is also listed at safety.

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