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Saints Roster Countdown 2014: #14 Andy Tanner and #64 Zach Strief

The Saints have two days to pare the roster down to 75 players, and two weeks until they take the field against Atlanta. Meanwhile, we continue counting down the days until the Saints kick off the regular season, by taking a brief look at the guys who are still with the team. Today we check out #14 (WR) Andy Tanner and #64 (OT) Zach Strief.

Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

The Saints have already begun whittling down their roster, but there are still dozens of players to be released between now and Saturday.  Come Tuesday, NFL rosters must be pared down to a maximum of 75 players, which means several players who played last night will never again take the field in black and gold.

As we count down the last 50 days until the New Orleans Saints begin their regular season in Atlanta, on September 7th, we're getting to know a little bit about those players who have signed on to bring home another Lombardi trophy.

Today, we take a brief look at wide receiver Andy Tanner and offensive tackle Zach Strief!

So, with no more ado:

TWO WEEKS UNTIL ATLANTA!!!


#14 WR Andy Tanner (1st Year?)

Originally signed by the New Orleans Saints in 2010, as an undrafted free agent out of Midwestern State, Andy Tanner may the most well-known and hard-working player currently on the roster to never have played a single NFL game.  From 2010 to 2013, he was repeatedly signed to the practice squad, released, waived, and signed to a reserve/future contract, for a total of 33 roster transactions over three years, before finally making the Saints opening day roster last year.  Then, after the team sustained several defensive injuries in the first game of the 2013 season, for which Tanner was declared inactive, the Saints again cut him from the roster and subsequently brought him back to the practice squad.

Tanner seems to be a favorite among many fans, and even some of the players, for his dedication, work ethic, and positive attitude.  Good feelings aren't likely to land him on a roster that is already loaded with receiving talent, however.  Likely realizing this, the young receiver returned to Midwestern State to earn a degree in accounting this past offseason, in case he needs plans for life beyond football.

Contract:
2 yr(s) / $930,000.  Average $465,000 per year through 2015.

#65 RT Zach Strief (9th Year)

Named one of two offensive team captains since 2012, alongside Drew Brees, Zach Strief has proven himself as both an elite right tackle and a leader on the team.  Originally drafted by New Orleans in the seventh round of the 2006 NFL Draft, Strief backed up Jon Stinchcomb for five years before becoming the starting right tackle for the Saints in 2011.  During his first year as a starting tackle, the Saints offensive line won the Madden Most Valuable Protectors award, as the best offensive line in the NFL.

The 30-year-old veteran is coming off of his best NFL season, allowing just four sacks and five quarterback hits in the fifteen games he started.  He has been able to use his tremendous size and strength to great effect in his 109 career games, with 45 starts; and he is also one of the team's most philanthropic players.  Some fans were worried about whether or not the team would lose him when he hit free agency this past offseason, but Loomis managed to sign him to a five-year contract.

Contract:
5 yr(s) / $20,000,000. Average $4,000,000 per year through 2018.