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

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It cannot be overlooked that Graham is entering only his second season as a pro and third as a football player. Thomas provides a veteran presence that Graham can learn from, which the Saints value.

Third-string tight end Tory Humphrey is also scheduled for free agency. He is not often used in the passing game but instead makes his mark as blocker. Since being acquired in 2009 Humphrey has appeared in seven games with the Saints with two starts.

Tyler Lorenzen, the former quarterback turned tight end, was a practice squad player for most of last season. He will get a chance to crack the starting lineup this year and could overtake Humphrey, if he returns, as the teams third tight end.

Royal could fit with well with the Saints as a blocker, especially the if the team decides against or cannot re-sign Humphrey for the upcoming season.

Even at 32 he could be effective, demonstrated by his ranking as the second best blocking tight end in the NFL from 2008-2010 (Pass Blocking Efficiency) according to profootballfocus.com. Ironically both Jeremy Shockey and David Thomas were in the bottom fifteen in 2010.

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