Saints News: Saints release nine players

Kyle T. Mosley

On Sunday afternoon, New Orleans Saints EVP/GM Mickey Loomis announced the team released nine players to pare down to a roster of 80 per the mandate from the NFL and NFLPA agreement. There were no major surprises with the players waived. WR Tommylee Lewis' return to New Orleans was brief after re-signing with the Saints in the offseason. He would have been the lone cut with sentimental value for fans. Lewis was the victim of the "Nola No Call" from Los Angeles Rams' CB Nickell Robey-Coleman. However, the other players would have been in very contentious fights to make this year's roster.

The nine players released from the New Orleans Saints are as follows:

  1. CB Deatrick Nichols (waived)
  2. WR Krishawn Hogan (waived)
  3. FB Ricky Ortiz (waived)
  4. DE Gus Cumberlander (waived)
  5. WR Tommylee Lewis (waived)
  6. G Adrian Magee (waived)
  7. RB Taquan Mizzell (waived)
  8. WR Maurice Harris (terminated contract)
  9. S Chris Johnson (waived)

CB Deatrick Nichols was the former XFL interception leader this past season. He sat low on the depth chart as the Saints chose to keep the two UDFA rookies in CB Keith Washington, Jr. and CB Tino Ellis. The cornerback unit's remainder is comprised of CB Marshon, Lattimore, CB Janoris Jenkins, CB P.J. Williams, and CB Patrick Robinson. DB J.T. Gray, DB Justin Hardee, and DB Johnson Bademosi (PUP) play mostly on the special teams unit.

WR Krishawn Hogan was a longshot consideration to make the Saints 53 man roster in September. Last season, he was activated in a few games because of injuries in the wide receiving unit. In the 8 games with the Saints, Hogan had 1 reception for 4 yards.

DE Gus Cumberlander (Oregon) and G Adrian Magee (LSU) were two rookies who could have received developmental player designations if they were allowed a 90 man roster for training camp. Magee was on LSU's National Championship team protecting the overall 2020 NFL Draft pick and Heisman Trophy winner, QB Joe Burrow. He was disappointed that some misperceptions of his work ethic and attitude by Pro Scouts and NFL Draft evaluators led to his draft stock's plummeting. Cumberlander would have been in a battle against veterans to earn a spot for the Saints. His only close competition would have been second-year DE Carl Granderson out of Wyoming. In 8 games, Granderson notched 1 Sack, 2 QB Hits, 11 Tackles (8 solo), and 2 TFL's.

New Orleans decided to go with Michael Burton over Ricky Ortiz at fullback. RB Taquan Mizzell's return to the NFL was short-lived with the Saints. He was buried deep on the running backs' depth chart behind Alvin Kamara, Latavius Murray, Ty Montgomery, Dwayne Washington, and rookie Tony Jones, Jr. (Notre Dame).

WR Maurice Harris and S Chris Johnson were to have the same fate as Mizzell at the respective positions. This New Orleans Saints team is loaded with talent at the wide receiver and safety positions. Harris would have to battle receivers Michael Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, Tre'Quan Smith, Deonte Harris, Lil' Jordan Humphrey, Emmanuel Butler, and rookies Juwan Johnson (Oregon) and Marquez Callaway (Tennessee). The Saints typically keep only five receivers on their active roster each season. Chris Johnson had little chance to break the safety lineup with Malcolm Jenkins, Marcus Williams, Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, and Saquan Hampton.

Expect future roster moves by New Orleans. The team is still in the market for a veteran cornerback to backup starters Marshon Lattimore and Janoris Jenkins.

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