For the second time in a month, the Saints made the decision to cut tackle Khalif Barnes, Adam Caplan of ESPN.com tweets. Third-year cornerback Brian Dixon will return to the team’s active roster after spending time this season on the Saints’ practice squad.
The 34-year-old Barnes has spent plenty of time on the fringe for the Saints this summer, working out for the team on multiple occasions and now being cut for the second time. Sean Payton said in September, when both he and Dixon failed to make New Orleans’ 53-man roster, Barnes was not yet in football shape. The Saints then re-signed him two weeks later after he presumably worked his way into shape.
Barnes did not see action for the Saints this season after playing for the Jaguars and Raiders for 11 years. A starter of 117 games since entering the league as a second-round Jags pick in 2005, Barnes started just one game for the Raiders last season — his final year with the team he played for from 2009-15.
Dixon rejoins a Saints team in dire need of experience at corner after losing both Delvin Breaux and second-year player P.J. Williams to injuries. A third-year UDFA out of Division II Northwest Missouri State, Dixon played in all 32 of New Orleans’ contests in 2014-15 as a backup. He’ll likely function in that role again.
The Saints have Sterling Moore, whom they signed late in the summer, and UDFAs Ken Crawley and De’Vante Harris as their top three corners presently. Dixon saw action for both Rob Ryan and Dennis Allen‘s units in 2015, so system acclimation probably won’t be an issue.
The Saints, after giving up an NFL-record 45 touchdown passes last season, rank 25th against the pass this season.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.