On the third day of the 2013 NFL Draft the New Orleans Saints selected wide receiver Kenny Stills with their fifth round pick to add to the stable of weapons on offense. It would seem that the swan song of at least free agent Devery Henderson had been sung.
Henderson has been a question mark since the 2012 season ended; would the Saints bring the former LSU Tiger back for at least one more season? In a press conference following the draft, head coach Sean Payton and general manager Mickey Loomis had opposing viewpoints on the matter.
Payton, when asked if the addition of Stills meant the unlikely re-signing of Henderson, said he "wouldn't say that the door has been closed" as far as possibly retaining him in the receiving corps.
Loomis, however, had a different stance on the matter.
In an interview immediately following Payton's, Loomis was also asked about Henderson, as well as free agents Scott Shanle and Sedrick Ellis. He didn't beat around the bush when he answered, "Look, they're free agents and probably not part of our plans for this year."
Why the difference of opinion? It could just be Payton playing the diplomat while Loomis is just being realistic.
In his 9-year career with the Saints, Henderson has 245 receptions for 4,377 yards and 20 touchdowns. But 2012 proved to be his worst year. Henderson had only 22 receptions for 316 yards and one touchdown, that being the one that helped Drew Brees break Johnny Unitas' consecutive passing touchdown streak. While it's a piece of NFL history, it won't be a deciding factor on whether the Saints should keep him.
Although a speedy receiver when the Saints drafted him in 2004, injuries have hit Henderson off and on. This past season he only start 9 out of 16 games, after starting at least 11 in the four seasons prior to that.
Saints fans at times have trouble letting go of favorites and Henderson has been one due to his time as an LSU Tiger and being a Louisiana native from Opelousas. The question will now be if the Saints feel that he can contribute enough to justify bringing him back.