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New Orleans Saints roster still can be tweaked, upgraded during early part of season

Coach Sean Payton said "door's not shut" on safety Chris Banjo

2019 Saints Pre Season

Dolphins 16- Saints 13 (L)

2019 New Orleans Saints
All Images Copyright Michael C. Hebert
2019 Saints Pre Season Dolphins 16- Saints 13 (L) 2019 New Orleans Saints All Images Copyright Michael C. Hebert

Already, there has been ample evidence of the NFL personnel fluidity that can occur after rosters are pared from the training-camp 90 players to the active 53.

More shuffling could be in the offing for the New Orleans Saints, Coach Sean Payton said during his Monday conference call.

"I think in these first two or three weeks of the season, there's generally a little bit more activity with each team's roster," Payton said. "It's not to say that we're expecting more or less. It's a work in progress to start.

"There were a lot of difficult decisions in regards to this year's initial 53, some really difficult players that we had to make a decision on. That's never easy and it's always there, the tough part about this job."

One of the roster moves involved popular backup safety Chris Banjo, a special team standout for the Saints the previous two seasons. Banjo, a six-year veteran, had his contract terminated Saturday. But Payton said that the relationship between franchise and player possibly could resume at some point.

"He's such a valuable part of what we've been," Payton said. "He epitomizes what we're looking for. And I would also add that that door's not shut.

"When I talk about the roster and we talk about some of changes that can be made throughout the early part of the season, he's someone that has got all the right things that go into winning games and being a great teammate and being a leader. That was definitely one of the most difficult decisions and yet, we stay in touch here and see how that goes."

TIGHT END TAYSOM: At present, the Saints are set to enter the regular season with two tight ends on the 53-man roster. Or, at least, two tight ends listed.

Jared Cook, a marquee free agent signee, and Josh Hill, a steady veteran, are the two players listed at the position. But Payton said that for all intents and purposes, New Orleans has three tight ends.

Yep, backup quarterback Taysom Hill can fill that role, too.

"I think what gets lost in the shuffle sometimes is the role that Taysom Hill played a year ago and this year," Payton said. "A year ago, we might have called him a receiver, (but) I think he fit more of that role. Certainly, he's at the quarterback position getting reps, but it's not a set-in-stone spot right now relative to where we're at. We feel confident in the two we've kept and also Taysom's ability to play in that position."

Check out photos of the faces of your 2019 New Orleans Saints 53-man roster.

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