Saints News

New Orleans Saints: At 32, Can TE Robert Royal Still Contribute?

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Free agent tight end Robert Royal doesn’t know who his next team will be. If he has his way however it would be the New Orleans Saints.

"Being from here, I’d love to come home and hopefully play at home for one of my years, but that’s just me doing wishful thinking, but at the end of the day, I don’t mind. An opportunity is an opportunity, and I’ll just make the best out of it. So whichever team rings the phone, I’ll try and make the best out of it."

It’s not surprising that Royal would want to play for the Saints, after all he is a New Orleans native and was a star at LSU before being drafted in the fifth round of the 2002 draft by the Washington Redskins.

In nine NFL seasons Royal has primarily been a top backup then a top tier starter. He has caught 128 passes for 1,271 yards and fourteen touchdowns while spending time with the Redskins, Bills and Browns.

The Saints utilize plenty of tight ends in Payton’s offensive schemes, often times running two or more through various routes. To play in New Orleans, you have to know how to catch and catch well.

Last season rookie Jimmy Graham exploded onto the scene catching five touchdown passes over the teams last three games. In fact he played so well it helped push the team to release Jeremy Shockey, a move that cements Graham as the teams starter.

Behind Graham things get a little murky on the depth chart. Veteran tight end, and the teams “second” starter, David Thomas is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent when the league resumes operation.

The Saints desperately want to bring Thomas back into the fold, and as such most expect that the team will manage to re-sign him.