The New Orleans Saints must trim their roster down from 80 players to just 53 by 3 p.m. CT this Saturday, Sept. 5, and they don’t face many easy decisions. They brought together a talented training camp depth chart that’s seen competition all over the field, and some good players are going to be looking for work and testing the waiver wire. That’s just the nature of the business, especially when you’ve assembled as strong a team as the Saints have.
Sure, there are some new wrinkles this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The practice squad has expanded to 16 contracts, six of which may be given to players who have accrued an unlimited number of seasons in the NFL. Each week, teams must designate four of those players as being protected from poaching by other teams.
Additionally, only players who have accrued four or fewer seasons will be available on waivers. That means any veterans released by the Saints are free to entertain free agent offers, but are otherwise able to immediately return to the practice squad.
Expect the Saints to try and keep some experienced hands on deck with these new practice squad rules, which are reflected in our final roster projection: players like wide receiver Bennie Fowler, offensive lineman Patrick Omameh, and defensive lineman Margus Hunt each fit the bill. Still, this is just our best guess at how the roster may look after Saturday’s cuts. Which picks do you disagree with?