The Saints will be without a well-respected part of their defense and locker room once again for the 2022 season. The team announced on Friday that veteran linebacker Craig Robertson has retired.
The 34-year-old played nine seasons in the NFL, beginning with four years in Cleveland. He topped 85 tackles in each of the first three seasons in that stretch, showing a knack for generating takeaways as well. After one more year with the Browns, he signed in New Orleans in 2016. That year was the one in which he set a new career-high in tackles (115), adding two fumble recoveries and an interception.
His play earned him a second deal with the Saints, where he brought his career total in games played up to 136, including 65 starts. His defensive playing time declines, as he transitioned into primarily a special teamer. After not suiting up in 2021, the former UDFA is hanging up his cleats for good. Robertson described his time in the league as “a blessing”.
“Craig was a fantastic player, leader and a consummate professional throughout his time with the New Orleans Saints”, general manager Mickey Loomis said. “It was a pleasure watching Craig’s passion, toughness and leadership ability on the field, in our locker room and in our community”.
New head coach – and Robertson’s defensive coordinator during his time there – Dennis Allen added, “Craig was everything that you look for in a player, smart, hard-working and versatile… I congratulate Craig for what he achieved in his NFL playing career and thank him for his contributions to the New Orleans Saints”.
Without Robertson, the Saints will carry on with the likes of Demario Davis, Pete Werner and Zack Baun in their middle linebacking corps. Both on and off the field, though, they will certainly miss his presence.