New Orleans Saints: 4 Bubble Players That Deserve a Shot
To quote the great Stewie Griffin, the Saints offseason has just been a "casserole of nonsense."
Between the bounty that has seen Jonathan Vilma and Sean Payton suspended for the entire 2012 season and the almost unfortunate "unsigning" of franchise quarterback Drew Brees, the Saints have gone from "top dog" to "maybe making the playoffs."
It's hard to imagine such a drastic offseason for one of the most beloved franchises in the NFL, but here's where they are.
Now, with the regular season less than two months away, it's time to see which bubble players on the New Orleans roster deserve a shot in 2012.
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When you're in the same backfield as lighting quick Darren Sproles and Heisman-trophy winning Mark Ingram, carries can come few and far between.
For Chris Ivory, however, success has come even in small doses.
In only six games last season, Ivory rushed for 374 yards on only 79 touches for nearly five yards per carry. Even though Sproles and Ingram will get the majority of the carries this season, Ivory remains a solid option at No. 3.
With the health problems that have plagued Ingram since his days at Alabama, it wouldn't be shocking to see him go down again. Watch out for Ivory help out the New Orleans' rushing attack.
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I know what you're thinking: How could a kicker really make this list?
Even though kickers are the most recyclable players in the NFL, Garrett Hartley (when healthy) has the ability to be one of the most consistent ones in the league.
After missing 2011 with a hip injury, Hartley will now compete with veteran John Kasay for the starting kicker position in New Orleans.
Before a disappointing 2010 season, Hartley had only missed two kicks in two years.
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Playing in the shadows of Mario Manningham at Michigan made it difficult for Adrian Harrington to show the country what he was really capable of doing.
The third-year wideout now has the opportunity since Robert Meachem is gone.
He's not going to blow you away in terms of numbers, but he is more than capable of catching 620 yards and six touchdowns like Meachem did last season.
With Drew Brees under center, anybody who has relatively decent hands can make a difference in the Saints' offense.
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Will Herring hasn't been a legitimate starter in the NFL since he was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in 2007.
His contract doesn't exactly favor him either, as the Saints signed him to a three-year $5 million deal last summer.
Herring does have experience in the league, though not much as a starter. He will most likely back up Scott Shanle this season, but can put in solid work if Shanle gets hurt.
For Herring's sake, he better put up better numbers this year or the Saints will easily part ways with his overpaid contract.