The New Orleans Saints (0-3) suit up to take on the Baltimore Ravens (3-0) in the final preseason contest on Thursday, which is the last chance for many players to leave a lasting impression on the team and perhaps audition for the next. That being said, we take a look at a host of players who are staring final cuts in the face.
- Marcus Murphy - He’s been given plenty of opportunity to establish himself as more than just a special teams returner, but the fact that he’s put the ball on the ground and has been publicly called out by Sean Payton doesn’t help his chances.
- Travaris Cadet - It’s hard to not envision the four guys that will be in the Saints backfield right now, which means Cadet could be out of work. Although explosive at times, Cadet will have to bank on the Saints keeping five running backs.
- Austin Johnson - It’s good to see that Johnson is healthy, but veteran John Kuhn clearly has something left in the tank. Johnson’s saving grace could rest on what ultimately happens with Michael Hoomanawanui, as the team could realistically keep two fullbacks on their roster.
- Tony Hills - I don’t think it’s by accident that the Saints brought in offensive lineman Khalif Barnes. Barnes may not be a long-term solution, as he’s been in the league since 2005. However, Barnes has experience as both a tackle and guard. Hills will likely start at left tackle with the first-team offense, and he had better hope that he plays well.
- Jack Allen - He was one that impressed the Saints early, but has not exactly been able to put it together during the preseason. Allen’s spot is clinging to how he performs against the Ravens.
- Tim Lelito - If there’s one surprising cut that could emerge, then I’d say it’s Tim Lelito. A better option could present itself with other teams getting down to 53 players as well, and the fact that the Saints are moving Andrus Peat over to the left side over Lelito says a bit.
- Darryl Tapp - I actually put Tapp on my latest roster prediction a few days back, but with the team signing Paul Kruger and trading for Chris McCain, it makes a player like Tapp extremely expendable.
- John Jenkins - Tyeler Davison has outplayed the veteran, and essentially took his job. Jenkins has fallen down the ranks with a flexible and more appealing option presenting itself in rookie David Onyemata.
- Davis Tull - Like Tapp, the acquisition of Paul Kruger and Chris McCain doesn’t bode well for Tull, who was shifted from linebacker to defensive end. Unfortunately, not much has come from this move, and Tull is likely going to find himself as the odd man out.
- Bobby Richardson - Although he’s been flying under the radar, it’s hard to project Richardson landing on the final 53-man roster right now. I believe it will come down to him and Obum Gwacham, but I honestly like what Gwacham has done over Richardson.
- Cortland Finnegan - Although unfortunate, and injury to Damian Swann helps the veteran corner out. If he can somehow show value at special teams and slightly better work than De’Vante Harris, then I see Finnegan sneaking onto the roster. However, it’s far from decided.
- Jeff Schoettmer - This is probably a no-brainer at this point, as he was originally reported as a cut to get down to 75 players, but was brought back in. This could have been triggered by an injury to C.J. Wilson in practice. Either way, don’t expect much.