The mystery as to who will make the final roster at wide receiver for the New Orleans Saints got a little deeper Monday, when the Saints and veteran wide receiver Patrick Crayton agreed to terms. Crayton would later practice with New Orleans that same day.
Crayton, a nine year veteran, didn’t play last season and had his best season in 2007 as a member of the Dallas Cowboys when he caught 50 passes for 697 yards and seven touchdowns. He also moonlighted as a punt returner and a kickoff returner for the Cowboys, running back two punts for touchdowns in 2009. It was also in Dallas that Crayton played under Sean Payton from 2004-2005 when he was an assistant coach under Bill Parcells.
Crayton adds himself to an already long list of players battling for that No. 3 spot on the Saints’ wide receiver depth chart. After Joe Morgan was lost for the season to an ACL injury, New Orleans brought in veteran receiver Steve Breaston to fight it out with the likes of Nick Toon and Kenny Stills. After Preston Parker grabbed two touchdown receptions in the preseason opener against the Kansas City Chiefs his name must be added to the list of potential players to consider for the spot.
New Orleans certainly has their work cut out for them in the coming weeks. They must evaluate all of their wide receivers and figure out who best fits their offense and what they want to do. I think it’s likely that Toon will ultimately get the nod for the number three spot, but do not count out Breaston or Crayton. Breaston could find himself in a nice complementary role to Marques Colston and Lance Moore with his veteran leadership. Crayton very well could do the same, especially if he is able to show that at 34 years-old he’s still got some speed. And speaking of speed, continue to watch out for the rookie Stills. Some of his speed and breakaway ability was highlighted in the preseason game against the Chiefs.
Long story short, we still have a little bit of time before we’ll have a definitive answer about New Orleans’ plans at wide receiver. Friday’s game against the Oakland Raiders could provide some clues, however.