2. Patrick Robinson
The Saints haven’t signed a veteran cornerback, so Patrick Robinson’s job is probably safe this season.
But the clock is running.
This isn’t Robinson’s first rodeo with the Saints, or his second. It’s his ninth going into 2021, and unless he establishes himself as a much more dependable corner, he may be on his way out.
New Orleans drafted Robinson in 2010, and after five seasons of spotty numbers, Robinson spent three years away from the team. He may have played his best game in 2017 on Philly, when he allowed a 57.1 pass completion rate, allowed only three touchdowns, and broke up 13 passes.
One thing is for certain: Robinson’s best days are behind him.
When he returned to the Saints in 2018, he played a forgettable 14 games over two years. Last season, he fared better, recording two interceptions and breaking up four passes, but landed on the injury list toward the end of the season.
When called upon, Robinson can perform okay, and sometimes better than okay. Take his game against Detroit in Week 4 last year: when Lattimore and Jenkins sat out due to injury, Robinson nabbed a game-deciding interception in the end zone.
The problem is, Robinson is being called upon less and less with the Saints choosing to rely on other corners. Robinson played more than 49 percent of defensive snaps in just four games in 2020 (P.J. Williams and even Chauncey Gardner-Johnson played instead in the nickel). And Payton can’t wait to try promising rookie Paulson Adebo at that spot, too.
The 34-year-old is the oldest player in the cornerback unit and at this point in his career, he’s an overqualified backup and a rapidly deteriorating veteran. All respect for the man, but his time on New Orleans could be up.