Those that have followed my articles on the New Orleans Saints tight end position should know by now that this is an area that is what I believe to be severely lacking.
It doesn’t matter how cool and collected head coach Sean Payton is when asked about it or how many ringing endorsements he gives current players Josh Hill or Benjamin Watson…they’re in need.
The Saints failed to address tight end in the recent draft when there where several good options like Maxx Williams or Clive Walford just to name a few.
They also failed to address it during free agency when they could have snatched up TE James Casey for a bargain which they failed to do so (the Denver Broncos signed him to a 1-year, $1.25 million dollar contract) and was actually a move I thought they should have made in a past article.
Sep 21, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles tight end James Casey (85) warms up prior to the game against the Washington Redskins at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey G. Pittenger-USA TODAY Sports
Other options I mentioned in that article as well as another I thought would have been good since they have languished in free agency was tight ends Zach Miller and Jermaine Gresham.
Who Dat Dish Co-Editor Andrew Schuster apparently agrees with me as he mentions it in an article he posted today.
Gresham actually came in for a visit with the Saints recently but left without a deal being done but Payton left the door open saying that he’d be a good fit with for the team.
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Both players are dealing with injuries with Gresham’s being back surgery in March and Miller trying to recover from several procedures on his ankle that got him released from the Seattle Seahawks with a failed physical.
Currently the Saints have only four tight ends on the roster which are Hill, Watson, Orson Charles, and undrafted rookie Jack Tabb.
Another undrafted rookie Harold Spears out of New Hampshire was released on Friday to make room for defensive tackle Kevin Williams on the roster.
A few days ago the New England Patriots released tight end Tim Wright who ended up catching six touchdown passes last year and was a viable redzone threat as well as the middle of the field.
Again another opportunity for the Saints was red hot to gain someone with experience and I again expressed that idea.
Well…. according to Field Yates of ESPN the Saints were interested in Wright as they were one of ten teams to put in a waiver claim for him.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers ended up getting first priority on Wright though but as you can see from the list, there were four other teams after them that would have claimed him before the Saints.
So while Payton and whoever else wants to give rave reviews to Hill and Watson, currently their backups are a practice squad player in Charles and Tabb; who as mentioned before is an undrafted rookie.
What’s scary is how this situation almost mirrors the cornerback position from this time a year ago where it was not addressed, with the Saints banking on Champ Bailey to be part of the solution — and we know how that turned out.
So as the team is currently saying that they’re not going to “drink the Kool-aid” like last season, fans shouldn’t either when it comes to the Saints tight end depth — or better yet, their lack of it……….