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NFL Draft

Bradley Roby Trade A Win-Win For Saints & Texans

  • The Draft Network
  • September 8, 2021
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According to several reports, the New Orleans Saints acquired veteran cornerback Bradley Roby in a trade with the Houston Texans on Wednesday morning. The trade should be made official just days before both teams kick off their 2021 campaigns. I’m here to tell you why it’s the right move for both New Orleans and Houston. 

The Saints needed more depth at the position and they’ve acknowledged that fact in recent days. In addition to this trade for Roby, they added veteran cornerback Desmond Trufant to their active roster on Monday.  

Marshon Lattimore is one of the finest cornerbacks in the league, but the Saints’ secondary has its fair share of question marks behind him. Due to Roby’s one-game suspension, Ken Crawley would be in line to start opposite Lattimore during Sunday’s contest against the Green Bay Packers, assuming he’s healthy and ready to go. This is bad news for the back end of the Saints’ defense as this matchup couldn’t be any worse for them. You can bet the house that Aaron Rodgers will identify Crawley as a weakness in their lineup and target him early and often in the passing game. 

Crawley has had an up-and-down career in New Orleans. It wasn’t that long ago that he was viewed as an ascending player. He played an impressive 820 snaps in 2017. Fast forward to last season, and Crawley saw the field for just 11 defensive snaps in 2020. Head coach Sean Payton has clearly soured on Crawley’s ability.

Roby represents a clear upgrade at CB2 for the Saints once he gets up to speed and serves his single-game suspension. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him immediately step into the starting role for Week 2. In fact, that’s exactly what I expect him to do. Roby played in 10 games for the Texans a year ago and allowed 23 receptions on 37 targets while playing 337 snaps in coverage. His season-long performance earned him a respectable 72.2 grade in coverage, per PFF.

On the other side of this, things are quite simple from Houston’s perspective. They’ll never come out and say it, but it’s pretty obvious they’re not going to win many games in 2021. With Deshaun Watson likely having played his final game in Houston, this season is all about preparing for 2022 and beyond. When it comes to the future of the franchise, general manager Nick Caserio knows that things are hanging in the balance right now. Getting draft capital in return for the 29-year-old Roby makes a lot of sense. By the time Houston is realistically ready to compete again, Roby will likely be retired or on his last legs.

The Saints just got better at the cornerback position. For Houston, acquiring future draft capital is of paramount importance right now. Let’s not forget Roby, who now gets to play for a competitive team in 2021. It’s a win-win for everybody.

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