Adrian Arrington has been waiting a long time to finally get his shot with the Saints. The seventh round draft choice out of Michigan came to the Saints as a low risk, high reward proposition that many felt could follow in the footsteps of Marques Colston to become a productive NFL player despite his diminished draft status.
Unfortunately for Arrington, he spent all of his rookie campaign in 2008 on the injured reserve. Motivated to bounce back from a disappointing first season, Arrington just couldn't manage to get back on the field for training camp of 2009 as he continued to battle lingering bumps and bruises. Undrafted rookie Rod Harper beat him out for a roster spot which put Arrington on the practice squad for the entirety of 2009.
Typically the guy that spends his rookie season on injured reserve and the following year on the practice squad is the guy destined for a three year career followed by release, never to see a shot at the pros again. But Arrington came back as determined as ever in 2010 and finally made the opening day roster thanks to a monstrous pre-season in which he emerged as backup quarterback Chase Daniel's favorite target. Arrington would lead the Saints in receiving yards, receptions, receiving touchdowns and total yards from scrimmage in those four games.As for the regular season, the Saints stayed remarkably durable at the receiver position, quite the opposite of their running backs. For that reason, Arrington was only active in four games and only got playing time in the last game of the season against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Still, in that final regular season game of 2010, Arrington posted a seven reception, 79 yard game that gave us all belief that he has what it takes to be a reliable NFL receiver. In that game he showed solid route running, speed, ability to make things happen after the catch and hands.
It's still uncertain what 2011 holds for Adrian Arrington, as another injury setback would likely halt his progress for good, and the uncertainty of the lockout has put off-season roster moves on hold. We know Marques Colston and Robert Meachem are part of the Saints plans but we're all still wondering what will happen with Devery Henderson's significant contract and Lance Moore's lack of any contract. Both of those guys could be back, the Saints could settle for one or they could find themselves without either. Depending on how that plays out, it will dictate what kind of opportunity Arrington ultimately gets. But he definitely proved on that final game against the Bucs that he can play.
Arrington has been stuck behind this Colston/Henderson/Meachem/Moore quartet that's been unshakable the past few years; as the players that produce for the Saints on the perimeter in the passing game. This year it could be different. Arrington's recent and steady emergence, which can't be ignored much longer, coupled with the uncertainty of Lance Moore's status and Henderson's contract, which pays him more than he's recently produced, make things more interesting for 2011.
Do you think Arrington will finally get his shot in 2011 to be a regular rotation receiver?