The New Orleans Saints are currently in Cincinnati preparing for their fifth and final preseason game against the Tennessee Titans. Ahead of Hurricane Isaac, the team jumped ship from their Metairie practice facility for more friendly accommodations up north earlier this week.
All 32 NFL teams are required to trim their rosters from 90 player to 75 as the regular season approaches by the end of today in preparation for the final push to the 53 man limit.
New Orleans beat the curve by announcing the cuts Monday, releasing 15 players.
Those released were corner Cord Parks, defensive tackle Remi Ayodele, quarterback Luke McCown, tight end Jake Byrne, receiver Marques Clark, linebacker Aaron Tevis, center Brian Folkerts, safety Johnny Thomas, receiver Derek Moye, guard Paul Fenaroli, tackle Hutch Eckerson, linebacker Donavan Robinson, receiver Kevin Hardy, corner Kamall McIlwain, and defensive tackle Swanson Miller.
Twenty-two more players will have to be cut after this week, leaving many tough decisions ahead for the franchise.
But there are two moves the Saints should make to clear roster spots for upcoming talent.
New Orleans currently lists two full backs and two kickers on the roster. Not many teams have the luxury of keeping two of either of these specialty players heading into the regular season.
Veteran kicker John Kasay was re-signed this off season to compete with Garrett Hartley, who missed most of last season with a hip flexor injury.
Hartley is much younger and has a bigger leg but has struggled with inconsistency during his pro career.
New Orleans must make a commitment to Hartley and parts ways with Kasay who is clearly on the extreme backside of his career.
Full back Korey Hall was signed in free agency before the start of last season and it was thought he would become the teams starter at the position,
But the Saints brought in journey man full back Jed Collins to compete with Hall, and while the team liked both, it was Collins who was named the starter.
Collins has since solidified his spot on the roster as the teams primary full back, leaving Hall as the odd man out.
The importance of releasing both Kasay and Hall come into focus more in consideration to certain on the bubble players.
Running back Chris Ivory and surprising undrafted rookie Travaris Cadet are said to be locked in a battle for a roster spot and the title of the teams fourth running back.
But why only keep one?