The New Orleans Saints got some much-needed cornerback help on Wednesday, agreeing to terms on a trade with the Houston Texans for Bradley Roby.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported the news of the Saints trading for Roby, adding that the veteran would be suspended for the season opener:
Roby was suspended six games last season for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs. He served five games during the 2020 campaign, so his ban carries over to New Orleans’ Week 1 matchup versus the Green Bay Packers.
While it’s unfortunate that Roby won’t be in action to help out the Saints against reigning NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers at Lambeau Field, at least New Orleans has a little runway to get Roby up to speed on the system masterminded by Dennis Allen.
The Saints had a dubious depth chart at cornerback behind Marshon Lattimore before this trade. Now, Roby is a legitimate No. 2 option at the position to start opposite Lattimore.
Both Lattimore and Roby played at Ohio State in college, but the latter entered the NFL in 2014 as a late first-round pick, while Lattimore was the 11th overall selection in 2017.
Even though the Texans were a bad, 4-12 team last year, Roby was a bright spot. He ranked as the 19th-best cornerback in Pro Football Focus’ player grades. He could really thrive in 2021 with Lattimore on the other side of the field.
Roby began his career with the Denver Broncos and had to fight for a role among a deep group of defensive backs who ultimately helped the team win Super Bowl 50. After a couple years in Houston, and with the Texans clearly rebuilding, Roby gets a change of scenery where he has a chance to really revitalize his career.
For Houston’s part, it’s plainly obvious that the team is tanking in 2021. Between the Deshaun Watson scandal and the general dearth of talent on the roster, it makes some sense for the Texans to go this way. However, every quality player they give up makes it even more of an uphill battle to build a legitimate, sustainable winner.