We're now moving on to the wide receivers in our incredibly premature examination of the 2011 Saints roster. Usually this is a position with intense competition during training camp but the Saints appear to have fewer players than usual here. I would expect to see the team bring in a few more players before the season actually starts, whenever that is.
There are eight players currently set to compete for a job this summer/fall. We're ignoring any free agency or lockout implications that exist or may arise in the near future and assuming everyone get's re-signed. Make the jump to see exactly who's currently listed on the roster and to get my opinion on where they stand as far as their chances of making the team this year. Of course I want to hear your opinions on the subject as well.
I consider these four players to make up the solid core of the Saints wide receiving unit. They've been in Payton's complicated system for years now, they know the playbook, they've got a good relationship with Brees and they've proven themselves over time. Regardless of your feelings toward one or all of them, I think they stick together for another year. The only way any of these guys doesn't make the roster is if they get traded.
On the Bubble
Roby has never contributed much, if anything, as a wide receiver. But his special teams contributions as a kick returner have helped him lock down a roster spot in the past. The Saints are focused on improving special teams this year and as good as Roby's been as a kick returner, it's definitely possible to upgrade. If Roby can be replaced as a kick returner, his value is greatly diminished and his chances of making the team drop significantly.
As for Arrington, who the hell knows. This could be the year he finally stays healthy and shines. If so, you could bump him up to the "Likely" category. I would love nothing more than for this to happen.
There's a lot of talent on the Saints at wide receiver and for the last few years, it's been real tough to bump any of the current guys out of a spot and crack the roster at the position. Unfortunately for Billings and Tanner, I don't see any change in the status quo. They will need to have one hell of a training camp and contribute significantly on special teams to have a chance.