I’ve neglected to make light of some of the roster moves the Saints have made over the last week so I wanted to catch up on that front. On 8/6, the Saints waived CB Laron Scott (despite a nice kickoff return in the game against the Cardinals) and injured G Scott Winnewisser. To replace them in time for the Patriots game, the Saints re-signed LB Ramon Humber (pictured), who is facing a 3 game suspension to begin the regular season for an undisclosed reason. Humber was a member of the 2010 and 2011 Saints teams. The Saints also signed WR Kevin Hardy.
More recently, the Saints waived just yesterday 2011 7th roubd pick LB Nate Bussey, 2012 6th round draft pick G Andrew Tiller and CB A.J. Davis. Both Davis and Tiller were injured, and assuming they clear waivers there’s a decent chance both will remain Saints for 2012 spending the duration of the season on injured reseve. Assuming Tiller clears waivers, which has a 99.9% chance of happening, he will definitely be placed on IR. There is no way the Saints won’t bring him into training camp next year as a drafted player they like. With those three roster moves, the Saints signed G Paul Fenaroli, CB Nick Hixson and TE Daniel Graham.
With Davis and Tiller, they were both injured, so not much could be done. The extent is not known, but presumably it was bad enough that the Saints weren’t willing to wait around on them to heal. Davis was a long shot to make the team anyway, although Tiller had a decent chance. With the injury Tiller will almost assuredly spend 2012 on IR and give it a shot again next year, so this will work as a redshirt season of sorts for him. The release of Nate Bussey who spent almost all of 2011 on the practice squad before being called up to the active roster in the playoffs, was more surprising. Him not making the team wasn’t a shock, but the timing of his release this early in preseason is disappointing. Bussey is a great character guy that the Saints had high hopes for on special teams. Bussey was kind enough to grant me interviews on two separate occasions and I want to personally wish him the very best of luck with his NFL career.
As for the new guys, Fenaroli is a guard/center out of Stony Brook that was an undrafted rookie free agent last year. He spent preseason with the Falcons before getting cut and ultimately getting added to the Packers’ practice squad where he spent last season. He’s a long shot to make the squad, but so was Brian de la Puente last year so you never know. Hixson is an undrafted rookie free agent from Hillsdale college that spent a rookie mini camp with the Saints. Clearly the Saints liked enough of what they saw from Hixson that they gave him A.J. Davis’ roster spot post injury, but he is strictly a camp body. Daniel Graham is by far the highest profile player of anyone I’ve mentioned in this blog post. This is Graham’s 11th NFL season of his career and he’s notched 224 career receptions. He’ll battle with David Thomas and Michael Higgins primarily for a legitimate shot at a roster spot as a backup tight end. Graham caught two passes for the Titans last year, one being a touchdown, and his best seasons as a pro came in 2003 and 2004 when he was a weapon in the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots’ offenses. His best years are behind him, but as a 2 time Super Bowl champion and a seasoned veteran of the game at 33 years of age, he’s got a shot at making the team. I like this move because tight end is thin at depth behind Jimmy Graham, and if Daniel Graham doesn’t make the team it’ll mean the guys ahead of him outperformed him which would be a positive. Added competition is always a healthy thing.