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Are The Saints Letting Devery Henderson Walk?

Will Devery be a Saint in 2009? (Photo Source)

Re-sign Vilma ASAP as soon as free agency starts.

Tender restricted free agents Lance Moore, Jahri Evans and Zach Strief a contract.

Lock up starting lineman Jon Stinchcomb.

Take a look at quality free agent cornerbacks and safeties to help improve beleaguered secondary.

Re-sign team's second leading receiver and deep threat Devery Henderson.

The Saints have been taking care of business so far this off-season but anyone know what's going on with Devery Henderson? I've heard no mention of contract talks between he and the team. In fact, last I heard division rival Tampa Bay was interested in signing the speedy wideout though no meetings have taken place. We were all so distracted with the re-signing of Vilma and the prospect of bringing in a top-tier free agent defensive back that the status of Henderson's contract, or lack thereof, has been put on the back burner. That we're even having this conversation after how most of us felt about him last year is a testament to the resurgence he had in 2008. But with other concerns for the Saints this off-season it seems poor Devery is getting left behind like a red-headed step child at a county fair.

But is it just the media and fans that have been so forgetful or has the entire Saints organization called it quits on poor DH? The emergence of Lance Moore has pushed Devery down to the third receiver spot on the depth chart and the fact that Moore has already been tendered a contract and Henderson has not certainly shows just where these two receivers stand in the organizations eyes. Popular opinion is that Robert Meachem is the emerging replacement for Henderson on this team. Though he saw little playing time last season, Meachem was used in the exact same capacity as Devery; a deep threat. In fact, Meachem's 24.1 yards per catch average was the only one even in the same ballpark as Henderson's 24.8 yards per catch. With limited cap room, more pressing defensive needs and a deeply talented wide receiver pool, the Saints probably view Devery as that dreaded "E" word...expendable.

I've got to admit the little guy grew on me last year. 2008 saw him shed his "Droppery" persona and get back to doing the things that made him so invaluable in seasons past. Henderson had no takers when he hit the free agent market last year but he should have no such trouble finding work this time around. As we continue to get deeper into free agency and continue to hear nothing about contract negotiations between the Saints and Devery Henderson, the chance that we see him in black and gold next season should continue to decrease.