Locked down and Locked out
The New Orleans Saints made some shocking moves on cut down day. Two of which were terminating the contracts of sure-fire Hall of Fame cornerback Champ Bailey and veteran wide receiver Robert Meachem, the team announced Saturday prior to the 3 p.m. deadline to reduce their roster to 53 men.
Aug 28, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints cornerback Champ Bailey (27) against the Baltimore Ravens during the first quarter of a preseason game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
The Saints also waived C Matt Armstrong, CB Derrius Brooks, WR Brandon Coleman, ILB Todd Davis, K Derek Dimke, CB Terrence Frederick, WR Charles Hawkins, TE Nic Jacobs, G Marcel Jones, WR Seantavious Jones, T Tavon Rooks, RB Derrick Strozier, NT Lawrence Virgil, CB Trevin Wade, S Pierre Warren, T/G Jason Weaver, while also terminating the contracts of OLB Keyunta Dawson, K Shayne Graham, FB Greg Jones, WR Robert Meachem and T Thomas Welch.
The Saints had high hopes for Bailey, a 16-year veteran with 52 career interceptions, when they signed him during the offseason after he spent the past 10 years in Denver.However, because of age and lingering health issues, it was a gamble and it looks like it just didn’t pay off.
Like coach Sean Payton said back at camp, “With a player like Champ we don’t need to see it every day, we just need to see it every once in a while.” Guess they didn’t see it nearly enough.
The cut means the Saints will be stuck with $500K in dead money on their cap, since that portion of the veteran’s one-year contract with the club was guaranteed.
Dec 29, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints kicker Shayne Graham (3) prior to kickoff of a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
It also means that Patrick Robinson is most likely your starting cornerback alongside Keenan Lewis. Hope your comfortable with that, Saints fans.
As for Meachem, the move ends a seven-season run in New Orleans. The former first-round draft pick out of Tennessee was not guaranteed a spot for 2014, battling several younger wide-outs. Younger receivers Joe Morgan and Nick Toon both made the roster as New Orleans’ fourth and fifth receivers. Morgan has a similar skill set as a blocker and deep threat, and Morgan had a stronger preseason.
The 29 year old had a good run, including being a role player for the Saints in their 2009 Super Bowl season, and as a fan favorite we hate to see him go.
Whats startling is the fact that the Saints cut both kickers on the roster. Veteran Shayne Graham, who joined the team late last season, and rookie kicker Derek Dimke both were let go. It’s unclear what the Saints will do at kicker, though several experienced veterans are now available on the market. Both Graham and Dimke were decent in training camp and the preseason, but neither was consistent enough to lock down the job. As of now that leaves the Saints with no kicker on the roster and the season opener against Atlanta only eight days away.
Can’t wait to see what plan Payton has up his sleeve.