The nature of the NFL is in many ways a harsh reality. For the New Orleans Saints there are going to be several players who are going to experience that harsh reality in the next week—though they will mostly be undeserving victims.
The fact is that the Saints are one of the deepest, most talented groups in all of football. Credit should be handed to GM Mickey Loomis and the rest of the personnel staff. They have done a magnificent job in this shortened off season of acquiring quality football players at every position.
So there will be over 30 guys that the Saints are going to have cut when the process ends—all of whom are guys they liked enough at one point to bring them into camp. A couple of key cuts have already been made in Danny Clark and Jon Stinchcomb.
But the bulk of the cuts that are made are not going to be high-profile, well known players. Instead, the majority of the cuts are going to be young and/or inexperienced players who really did give everything they had, but it just wasn't enough for such a tremendously talented squad.
Those players are probably rather obvious, so I want to speak of the guys who are a little more high profile, more surprising cuts that I believe should be made by the time the roster is trimmed to 53 guys.
If Ivory were to be cut, it would probably be the most controversial, and least fair cut to be made. But considering the depth at the position—and Ivory's lack of health so far in camp—someone has to be the odd man out.
Joique Bell has made quite an impression so far in training camp—and certainly his performance Sunday night versus Oakland only bolstered his resume. He's already proven to be a better option in the passing game—which is a must for any Sean Payton running back.
And certainly Ivory isn't going to take the spot of Pierre Thomas, Mark Ingram, or Darren Sproles. So as of now, Ivory is likely fifth on the depth chart at the running back spot. So fair or not, that likely leaves Ivory off the regular season roster.
I like Devery Henderson. I know he is something of a fan favorite due to his playing college ball at LSU. And he's certainly had some big plays in his Saints' career.
But the fact of the matter is that Henderson is the least consistent of the Saints' receivers. Yes he's an incredibly speedy deep threat, but after that, what does he really offer? He's inconsistent catching the ball, makes some bone-headed plays after catching the ball, isn't much of a blocker, and for all his speed doesn't even offer versatility as a returner or reverse guy. He's really a one-trick pony.
With Colston being the great possession receiver, Meachem another deep threat, and Lance Moore the reverse-screen guy, Henderson is no better than the fourth receiver. And frankly he makes a little too much money to be that guy. Add in the development of Adrian Arrington and the necessity of balls to go around for tight end Jimmy Graham and the running backs, there simply isn't a spot—one would think—for Henderson to make a big difference in this offense.
Clearly in the football world, the potential cut of Tyler Lorenzen wouldn't seem like that big of a deal. But in the Twitter world, Lorenzen being cut would be of much significance. It may even cause an uproar.
Lorenzen is a very engaging young man, who will probably end up a successful comedian, actor, writer, or politician perhaps. He has that kind of personality.
But that doesn't get you onto an NFL roster—even if it should. Lorenzen's exclusion has less to do with his effort, and more to do with the Saints already possessing three quality tight ends ahead of him. Lorenzen would be a good guy to keep on the practice squad—assuming no one else takes him. But losing Lorenzen wouldn't kill your squad, maybe other than for the atmosphere of the locker room.
McDaniel is a kid I had very high hopes for coming out of Clemson. His name being on this list has a lot less to say about his abilities and more about the unfortunate situation he has been put in. He signed on as an undrafted free agent, and as all the analysts have been saying, this rookie class, especially the undrafted guys, would really be at a huge disadvantage.
McDaniel could very well still have an NFL future—he just hasn't had much of an opportunity to show that yet. He simply hasn't stood out, which is what he needed to do in order to make the team out of camp. That being said, I love this kid's talent—and for that reason would do everything I could to keep him on my practice squad, once the final cuts are made.
In all honesty, I'm not even sure Romeus is still officially on the Saints' roster. The seventh round choice certainly hasn't done anything in the preseason, which is the reason I question his involvement at all.
The Pittsburgh graduate has been injured, so there are reasonable reasons for his lack of production. But for Saints fans who were hoping to find a diamond in the rough, Romeus so far hasn't shown any ability to be that guy.
Just like McDaniel, Romeus due to his talent, would be a great player to keep on the practice squad. If he can stay on the practice squad and develop, he could become a valuable member of the New Orleans Saints' franchise.
The Saints have signed Ingram in two consecutive off-seasons in the hopes of making something out of nothing. Ingram was a solid linebacker in his four-year career in Jacksonville—though he had by far his best season in his rookie campaign in 2006.
It would be wonderful for Ingram to be able to continue his solid play for the Saints—but the reality is that Ingram's knee injury is much too bad for him to make a contribution again this season. While it's a nice sentiment for the Saints to attempt to get something out of Ingram, the likelihood is simply very low.
If he were to magically heal in the next couple days and showed himself ready to contribute, perhaps he'd be worthy of a roster spot. But at this point, it seems better for all parties to prepare for the inevitable.