Sunday, September 6, 2009

Saints Nation: Thoughts on New Orleans Saints' Final Cuts

Adrian Arrington (pictured) appeared to be right in looking over his shoulder, as Rod Harper beat him out for a roster spot. In light of the final cuts yesterday - there were no shocks, but there were a few surprises. The biggest surprise to me was that Charles Grant and Will Smith may go into week 1 as eligible to play. I assumed it was a foregone conclusion that the two would begin the season suspended for the banned substance they tested positive for last year and be out for 4 weeks. Apparently with the appeals process ongoing, the NFL is waiting to let things play out before enforcing the suspensions. In terms of roster significance, that was to the detriment of Paul Spicer and DeMario Pressley. I have to believe those two were the two players cut based on the fact that Smith and Grant are still active. Spicer was slated to start at end for week 1, and Pressley's departure leaves the depth at interior defensive line extremely thin. Another mild surprise for me was that Jonathan Casillas made the team. While deserved, the Saints are keeping a high number of linebackers at 7.

It was NOT a surprise for me to see Adrian Arrington and Courtney Roby cut. The Saints wanted to go with 5 receivers, and there was no way Rod Harper was NOT making this team based on his performance in preseason. It's too bad Arrington couldn't stay healthy, and the Saints will miss the luxury of Roby's kick return ability - but there just wasn't room for them. The release of Joey Harrington is even less surprising given his horrendous performance in extended action against the Dolphins in the final preseason game. The Saints have gone into every season the last 3 years with only 2 QB's on the roster, and I've thought all along that Harrington would have to show something pretty special to be kept around.

The trade for David Thomas comes as no shock, of course, because with Dan Campbell and Billy Miller on IR the Saints were desperate for help behind Shockey. Don't forget Darnell Dinkins may miss week 1 as well with ankle problems.

The rest is about exactly as I expected. Too bad for PJ Hill, but he was caught in a numbers game and hopefully he can clear waivers and make the practice squad. The one area of concern I have with the release of Harrington is that he was the primary holder on field goals and extra points. Brunell, being left handed, is not ideal to handle that job. As much as the kicking game struggled in preseason, adding a new primary holder to the mix is another factor that will upset timing and comfort for Jason Kyle, John Carney and Garrett Hartley. We'll see how that plays out.

Below are the 8 players I envision the Saints targeting for the practice squad should they clear waivers:

CB Danny Gorrer
WR Adrian Arrington
HB PJ Hill
HB Herb Donaldson
DT DeMario Pressley
G Tim Duckworth
LB Anthony Waters (not sure if he's eligible)
TE Jermey Parnell