Hailing from Grand Prairie, Texas, DT Remi Ayodele played his college ball at Oklahoma and went undrafted in the 2006 NFL Draft. He was picked up that year by the New England Patriots.
In his first two years with the NFL, Ayodele claimed allegiance to three other teams before being signed by New Orleans: the Baltimore Ravens, the Dallas Cowboys (twice), and the Atlanta Falcons.
In 2008, Ayodele remained primarily on the Saints’ practice squad, but was bumped into the starting rotation in 2009.
He started every game of the 2010 season, which was the most productive season of his career, recording 37 combined tackles, 1 sack, and 1 forced fumble.
Heading into the 2011 season, Ayodele faces his largest challenge to date: competing for his starting position with NFL veteran DT Shaun Rogers.
Rogers comes to the Saints from Cleveland after only starting in one game last season. In 2008, Rogers recorded a total 76 combined tackles with the Browns.
Sean Payton has publicly praised Ayodele’s performance in the 2009 and 2010 seasons, but has also added that he wants to see competition between he and Rogers for the starting job.
The uncertainty looming over the 2011 NFL season brings questions about team workouts and practices, as teams will not be allowed access to their facilities in the event of a lockout.
Sean Payton’s move to bring in proven veterans to compete for their starting jobs should be a call to arms for all members of the Saints roster. In the event of a lockout, Payton is assuring his players that if they do not continue to work for their jobs, they will lose them.