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Saints Roster Countdown 2014: #61 Matt Armstrong

The Saints roster is down to 75 players, and in three days will be cut down to the final 53 active players. 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 rookie center #61 Matt Armstrong.

Sean Gardner

Twenty two players will be released between now and Saturday afternoon, in order to finalize the 53-man roster, after which NFL teams may declare a 10-man practice squad, up from the 8 players they were allowed previously.

As we've counted down the last 50 days until the New Orleans Saints begin their regular season in Atlanta, on September 7th, we've been 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 rookie center Matt Armstrong!

So, with no more ado:

11 DAYS UNTIL ATLANTA!!!

#61 C Matt Armstrong (Rookie)

Matt Armstrong joined fellow UDFA Lakers lineman Tim Lelito on the New Orleans Saints this past May, following the 2014 NFL Draft.  A decorated four-year starter who has played multiple positions along the offensive line, the rookie is currently penciled in as the third center, behind 2nd-year Lelito and veteran Jonathan Goodwin.

Armstrong did fairly well playing nose tackle in high school, though he was a starter as an offensive tackle (both sides), guard (both sides), and center during his four years at Grand Valley State.  The versatile lineman is smart, moves well, and has big hands.  However, his size and soft midsection are not impressive, and the 24-year-old rookie has been dinged up a bit.  Plus, his time spent training and competing in track and field (throws) in college detracted from his year-round football training.

During his college career, Armstrong sustained a concussion, torn cartilage in his left knee (required bone graft surgery), and a right shoulder injury.  He has also had surgeries to remove bone spurs in his ankle and tighten his shoulder joint.

Despite his injury history, and other factors going against him, Matt Armstrong impressed during rookie minicamp.  That said, the battle for the center position has clearly been between Lelito and Goodwin throughout the preseason.  With the Saints being thin at center after Brian de la Puente left to the Chicago Bears, and with Armstrong having some versatility along the offensive line, the rookie may find his way onto the newly-expanded 10-man practice squad.

Contract:
3 yr(s) / $1,530,000.  Average $510,000 per year through 2016.