On Saturday, the New Orleans Saints reduced their roster size to the league-mandated maximum of 53 players.
In order to reach the maximum, the Saints used three roster exemptions for suspended players Charles Grant, Will Smith, and Garrett Hartley. The team also placed three players, tight end Billy Miller, safety Chip Vaughn, and fullback Olaniyi Sobomehin, on injured reserved.
The Saints then traded their seventh round pick in 2011 to the New England Patriots for tight end David Thomas. Thomas has 13 starts in three seasons and has been mostly utilized as a blocker.
While I earlier predicted that the Saints would keep Joey Harrington, there was no way that they were going to keep the third-string quarterback after a miserable performance in the final preseason game against the Miami Dolphins.
While there weren't too many surprises, I was a little surprised that the Saints chose to go with Jeff Charleston over Paul Spicer as a reserve defensive end. However, reserve players are expected to contribute on special teams and Charleston, 26, is much younger and faster than Spicer, 34.
Rod Harper clearly won over the coaching staff as he was the only "bubble" receiver to survive cut day. Coach Sean Payton said multiple times throughout training camp that the fifth receiver would have to make significant contributions on special teams, and Harper had two punts returns for touchdowns in the preseason.
Harper arrived in New Orleans after playing for the Arkansas Twisters in the al2.
Wide receivers Adrian Arrington, Skyler Green, and Courtney Roby all were placed on waivers.
Lynell Hamilton joins Pierre Thomas, Reggie Bush, and Mike Bell on the Saints depth chart as the fourth running back. Hamilton beat out undrafted rookies PJ Hill and Herb Donaldson for a roster spot.
The Saints can sign eight waived players to the practice squad starting late Sunday evening. Of the players waived by the Saints, I expect the team to sign Hill, cornerback Danny Gorrer, and tackle Jermey Parnell as part of their practice squad.
The Saints open the regular season at home against the Detroit Lions on September 13.