New Orleans got a head start on the deadline for roster cuts this weekend with several moves, but the team found its way to the 53-man limit today. Here are the moves the Saints made today to get there:
- QB Ian Book
- WR Dai’Jean Dixon
- DB DaMarcus Fields
- DB Vincent Gray
- LB Chase Hansen
- DT Jordan Jackson
- TE Lucas Krull
- DE Niko Lalos
- WR Kirk Merritt
- OL Derek Schweiger
- LB Nephi Sewell
- WR Rashid Shaheed
Placed on reserve/injured:
Placed on reserve/suspended by commissioner:
- WR Kawaan Baker
The big story of the day for New Orleans was the trade this morning that sent defensive back Chauncey Gardner-Johnson to Philadelphia. The defensive back had pushed for an extension, staging a hold-in effort early in camp, but ultimately found himself on his way to Pennsylvania, paving the way for the Saints to hold onto six safeties. Safety Daniel Sorensen is on the roster for his special teams contributions, but Justin Evans will really be given a chance to contribute at safety in the absence of Gardner-Johnson.
Despite seeing fellow defensive tackle Huggins head to injured reserve, rookie sixth-round pick Jackson was unable to hold onto a roster spot, being the only member of the Saints’ rookie draft class who failed to do so. The offseason addition of Kentavius Street was likely the determining factor that left Jackson off the 53-man roster.
The team did see an undrafted free agent make the final roster as offensive lineman Lewis Kidd worked his way out of Montana State to make the Saints’ initial 53. He’ll serve as a depth piece on an offensive line with quite a few injury questions.
A position group that definitely looks improved on paper is the receiving corps who gets back Michael Thomas and added first-round pick Chris Olave and veteran Jarvis Landry in the offseason. These new targets will combine with the tight ends group, that includes swiss-army man Taysom Hill, as weapons for quarterbacks Jameis Winston and Andy Dalton.
Besides all the above, the team will look fairly similar in composition to last year’s. The running backs, special teams, defensive ends, and cornerbacks will look largely the same as the team heads into the 2022 NFL season. Where things could end up looking different is on the practice squad. After clearing waivers, many of the players above will have the opportunity to rejoin the Saints’ 16-man squad.