Saints Release Initial 53-Man Roster: Instant Reactions

August 31, 2022

On Tuesday, the Saints released their initial 53-man roster along with the rest of the NFL. To reach that mark, some roster cuts unfortunately had to be made.

On Tuesday, the New Orleans Saints made the necessary roster cuts to trim their NFL roster to the necessary 53 players mandated by the NFL’s August 30 deadline. As a result, there were a number of players that were then waived or released by the team. With all the moves finalized, we’re giving our thoughts on the initial Saints roster. Players could still make the practice squad with signings on Wednesday, but for the most part, the 53-man roster is set.

Initial Thoughts On The Saints’ Initial 53-Man Roster For 2022

Saints Leave Ian Book Off Of Their Initial 53-Man Roster

Ian Book was taken in the fourth round of the 2021 NFL draft with very limited potential to be a long-term starter. The Saints grabbed him with a QB competition between Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill going on through the offseason. It was unclear where Book stood in the long-term plans for New Orleans but when Sean Payton retired, Book lost his biggest supporter. Payton wanted Ian Book on the team as he revealed through the Rich Eisen Show and post-draft interviews.

Flash forward to this offseason, Book was never given a chance to even be a backup quarterback as the team signed Andy Dalton in free agency. Through two preseason games, Book has 234 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions. He flashed at times through the games, especially against the Packers but has also thrown some bad interceptions. Since New Orleans has depth in other areas, it was a question of whether or not they would keep Ian Book or use his roster spot on someone else.

The Saints waived Book this past Tuesday according to multiple sources.

Saints Roster Six Wide Receivers

For the first time in a while, the offense will have six wide receivers on the roster. Michael Thomas leads the pack as he is expected to start the season opener against the Falcons in two weeks. Chris Olave and Jarvis Landry are new faces to help bolster the unit while Marquez Callaway, Deonte Harty, and Trequan Smith provide excellent depth

Saints Have Linebacker Concerns

When the initial roster first came out, there were some concerns over the linebacker depth which is very understandable. Eric Wilson and Jon Bostic were free agents the Saints signed this season to help add depth to the unit. Both had strong training camp and preseason performances which makes it questionable why the team did not keep at least one on the roster.

Zack Baun has not made any major contribution to the Saints since has been drafted and yet he is still on the 53-man roster. Kaden Ellis also made the roster and while he is good at the line of scrimmage, he can get exposed in coverage. If Demario Davis and Pete Werner miss any time, the Saints need someone to step up.

Saints Secondary Is Still Loaded With Talent

CJ Gardner Johnson was a good player no doubt about it but the defensive secondary is still loaded with promising talent. Pro Bowl corner Marshon Lattimore and Paulson Adebo man the outside corner spots. Adebo showed very good potential in his rookie year throughout the back end of the season. He already has interceptions against Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan. Through training camp, Adebo has also been the star locking down almost every receiver he has a rep with. If Adebo takes a leap, New Orleans has one of the best cornerback duos in some time.

The Saints have a deep and very versatile safety room. Headlined by Super Bowl champion and Louisiana legend Tyrann Matthieu, the Saints have safeties that can cover all over the field. Marcus Maye looks to bounce back after an Achilles injury riddled his 2021 season.

Justin Evans has been making plays throughout the whole summer after being singed from Tampa Bay. He should be a versatile piece in the secondary.

PJ Williams is coming off the best year of his career and should continue to improve in his hybrid safety/slot role. Bradley Roby, who was acquired by the Saints in a trade last season, should be in the mix to replace Gardner-Johnson in the slot. Roby has the flexibility to play inside or outside which is a big contribution to any defense

Alontae Taylor is also a chess piece the Saints can deploy. Taylor was taken in the second round of this past draft and was a playmaker and steady starter on Tennesee’s defense. The pick was initially a surprise since the Saints were already full in the cornerback room but Taylor looks to set himself a role in the New Orleans secondary.