Courtney Roby has been the Saints primary kick returner for nearly three seasons after being signed in October of 2008 just a few weeks after his release by the Indianapolis Colts. He was drafted in the third round of the 2005 draft by the Tennessee Titans
He provided an immediate spark to a lagging return game appearing in only five games before being placed on injured reserve. Roby became a free agent after 2008, but the Saints saw enough to re-sign him to a new contract prior to the start of the 2009 season.
Roby had a banner year for the Saints in 2009 returning 42 kicks for 1,154 yards and one touchdown, he averaged a near league best 27.5 yards per return. He also served as the primary kick returner during the post season and Saints Super Bowl victory.
His play declined some in 2010, when he returned 33 kicks for 785 yards and no touchdowns. Also dipping was his yard per return, averaging nearly four yards less than he did in 2009 with 23.8.
Late in the year Roby was placed on injured reserve after injuring his neck against the Rams.
The Saints are high on Roby, and equally he enjoys playing for the team, also one thing that cannot be overlooked is his contributions on special teams as a tackler in the gunner role.
However if he can be replaced with a younger, more productive player he may be sent packing.
New Orleans worked out several Louisiana Tech players, including offensive linemen Jared Miles and Rob McGill, and wide receiver/kick returner Phillip Livas.
Livas was deadly on the collegiate level returning kicks, tying the NCAA record for punt and kick return touchdowns with sixteen. He broke Louisiana Tech’s kick return yardage record also with 2,758 yards.
His workout with the Saints went well according to a report on National Football Post. Apparently he stood out during receiving drill as well as punt and kick returns. Livas is not expected to be drafted so the Saints would look to sign him as an undrafted rookie.
Livas may have to wait some time after the draft to catch onto the Saints roster, with an expired CBA New Orleans will be unable to meet with “free agents” of any kind after the draft. It’s likely though they bring him in if and when a new deal is put in place to compete with Roby directly.