METAIRIE, La. -- The New Orleans Saints released 14 players and placed two on injury lists Tuesday, trimming their roster to the NFL-mandated 75 players. Here’s a closer look at the first cuts:
Most significant move: The Saints released veteran defensive tackle C.J. Wilson, which isn’t a huge surprise. But I thought he might have a chance of sticking around until Sheldon Rankins came back from injury. Wilson’s release would seem to show faith in young backups David Onyemata and Bobby Richardson, among others. Veteran defensive end Matt Shaughnessy is another notable name on the cut list, though he just joined the team during training camp. Second-year receiver R.J. Harris stood out during OTAs and minicamp, but he fell behind undrafted rookie Tommylee Lewis, among others, over the past month.
Kikaha on PUP list: Second-year pass-rusher Hau’oli Kikaha was placed on the reserve/physically unable to perform list, which also comes as no surprise. Technically, that means Kikaha will be eligible to return later in the year. But he is expected to miss the entire season after suffering an ACL injury during OTAs.
Dixon twins split up: New Orleans released cornerback Brandon Dixon, who is the identical twin of Saints cornerback Brian Dixon. They teamed up last year when the Saints signed Brandon to the practice squad. Perhaps they’ll do the same again this year, provided, of course, that Brian sticks on the 53-man roster himself.
Saints’ moves: Waived DE Matt Shaughnessy, DT C.J. Wilson, LB Tony Steward (injured), CB Brandon Dixon, CB Jimmy Pruitt (injured), S Jamal Golden, G Kaleb Eulls, G Cyril Lemon, WR R.J. Harris, WR Reggie Bell, WR Jared Dangerfield, TE RaShaun Allen, FB Sione Houma and LS Chris Highland. Placed DE Hau’oli Kikaha on reserve/physically unable to perform list. Placed OT Avery Young on reserve/non-football injury list.