Blake Gillikin

Cardinals Waive P Nolan Cooney, Sign P Blake Gillikin

The Cardinals are shaking it up at the punter position. The team announced that they’ve waived Nolan Cooney and replaced him with free agent Blake Gillikin.

Cooney earned the starting gig during training camp, beating out Matt Haack to be the replacement for veteran Andy Lee. While Cooney has only landed two of his 13 punts inside the opponent’s 20, he did average 45.5 yards per punt and a 40.3-yard net this year. However, Cooney’s performance this past weekend may have forced the Cardinals’ hand. The punter averaged only 39 yards (31 net) on his three punts.

So, in comes Gillikin. The Penn State product spent the 2021 and 2022 seasons with the Saints, averaging 47 yards per punt (41.4 net) while landing 61of his 160 punts inside the opponent’s 20. Lou Hedley ended up beating out Gillikin for the starting gig in New Orleans during the preseason, leading to the veteran’s release.

The Cardinals weren’t done making moves today, with the team also announcing that they’ve signed safety Joey Blount to the active roster. Blount joined Arizona’s practice squad last month after getting let go by the Seahawks. The former UDFA got into 11 games for Seattle last season, finishing with eight tackles while exclusively playing on special teams.

Saints Officially Set 53-Man Roster

The Saints welcomed back some old faces and said goodbye to others on their way towards setting their initial 53-man roster. Here are the moves the team made in their efforts to select the team they will open the season with:



The veteran tight end James will have to continue his recent tour of the NFL. He, Holtz, and Krull fell victim to the reunion of New Orleans and former All-Pro Jimmy Graham.

On defense, Smith failed to make the roster after starting 11 games for the Giants last year. Roby is another player who was initially expected to contribute, but will have to pack up his locker.

With the emergence of rookie third-round pick Kendre Miller and the eventual return of Alvin Kamara, keeping Williams in the running backs room just wasn’t worth the roster spot.

On special teams, the third-year punter Gillikin lost the punting battle with undrafted rookie signee out of Miami (FL) Lou Hedley. The viral, jacked, tatted-up, Australian, 30-year-old rookie punter makes his first NFL roster as part of the Saints’ new-look special teams group.

Saints Add OL Storm Norton, Re-Sign P Blake Gillikin

The Saints have added some depth on the offensive line. Storm Norton is signing a one-year deal with New Orleans, according to Aaron Wilson of (via Twitter).

The 2017 undrafted free agent out of Toledo bounced between the Lions, Cardinals, and Vikings (plus a brief stint in the XFL) before finding a home in Los Angeles in 2020. After starting three of his six appearances in 2020, Norton started 15 of his 17 appearances in 2021.

He didn’t start any of his 12 performances this past year, and Pro Football Focus would have graded him as one of the league’s worst offensive tackles had he qualified. However, the site was a bit more bullish on his production in 2020 and 2021.

The Saints may return much of their offensive line depth in 2022, with Norton representing their first move on that unit. Ethan Greenidge, who appeared in 15 games for the Saints back in 2020, is the team’s lone OL free agent.

The Saints weren’t done making moves today. Nick Underhill tweets that the team has re-signed punter Blake Gillikin. The Penn State product joined the Saints in 2020 but didn’t see the field for the team until 2021. He’s appeared in all 34 games for New Orleans over the past two years, averaging 47 yards on his punts. Gillikin has also landed 61 of his 160 punts inside the 20 yard line.

Saints Sign 13 UDFAs

After adding only four rookies via the draft, the Saints compensated today by signing 13 undrafted free agents. The organization formally announced the following signings:

After drafting Michigan center Cesar Ruiz in the first round of the draft, the team made their largest undrafted-free-agent investment in an offensive lineman. Nick Underhill of The Athletic tweets that Oregon’s Calvin Throckmorton will earn $110K in guaranteed money and a $12.5K signing bonus. The team also gave $90K in guaranteed money to Jordan Steckler (per Underhill on Twitter).

On the defensive side of the ball, Texas defensive lineman Malcolm Roach will earn $95K in guaranteed money (via Underhill on Twitter). The versatile defender finished his collegiate career with nine tackles-for-loss and three sacks in 2019.