Saints make a pair of roster moves

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  • MICHAEL C. HEBERT NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

The arduous task of getting under the salary cap continued on Tuesday for the New Orleans Saints as they released tight end David Thomas and waived corner Johnny Patrick.

Thomas spent the last four seasons with the Saints and was a key part of the offense as he played alongside tight ends Jimmy Graham and Jeremy Shockey. “This was an extremely difficult decision to make with David today,” said Loomis. “Since he came here in 2009, he’s been an important part of our team, both with his performance on the field and with the outstanding veteran leadership he’s provided for us.”

“David has been important part of our team since the day he arrived here immediately after the 2009 preseason and we appreciate everything he did for us these last four seasons,” said Head Coach Sean Payton. “With his dependability, intelligence and work ethic, he was someone our players and coaches could always rely on. On the field, he would set a physical tone and his versatility proved to be a great asset for us.”

This past season he caught 11 passes for 86 yards to go with four touchdowns. Thomas’ salary cap hit to the team would have been $2.2 million with a base salary of $1.5 million in the final year of his contract.

Thomas was highly respected in the locker room and while there may not be number 85 jerseys everywhere, his play was consistent and a team player. “Preparation for the 2013 @Saints season officially begins now. One team, one city, one goal. #WhoDat,” Thomas tweeted the night of the Super Bowl.

Patrick was the Saints third-round draft pick in 2011 and his salary cap number was close to $740,000 with a base salary of $555,000 according to a report. Patrick went into last season expected to be the team’s nickel corner but his play wasn’t all that great at times in the season and other corners at times played that role.

Prior to the moves the Saints were a little over $13 million over the salary cap.

The moves leave Jimmy Graham and Michael Higgins as the only tight ends currently on the roster at tight end. Jabari Greer, Patrick Robinson, Corey White, A.J. Davis, Ryan Steed and Dion Turner are the remaining cornerbacks on the team.

March 12 is the deadline for teams to be under the salary cap and the pair of moves today was the third move made by the team in less than a week. Late last week linebacker Curtis Lofton agreed to restructure his contract. The move saved the team $4 million dollars in cap space.

Defensive end Will Smith and linebacker Jonathan Vilma will be asked to restructure their deals, deals that combined would count around $15 million to the cap this season.

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