Monday, June 21, 2010

Saints Dump McCray

Somewhere, Mrs. Kurt Warner and Mrs. Brett Favre are doing a happy dance.

In the latest big move by the New Orleans Saints front office, the team announced that they let go defensive end Bobby McCray on Monday.

The cut came shortly after the team signed and then traded restricted free agent and Pro Bowl tackle Jammal Brown to the Washington Redskins in a complicated “if this then that” draft pick swap.

McCray’s departure is somewhat of a surprise considering that he replaced defensive end Charles Grant twice in the past two years due to injuries. When the team cut ties with Grant and his large contract not long after the Super Bowl, McCray was generally considered a probable starter in the 2010 season.

The Saints have some depth at the defensive end position with returning starter Will Smith, who had a career year last season though was inexplicably snubbed from the Pro Bowl, and returning back up Jeff Charleston, whose tenure on the team was viewed as more questionable than McCray’s.

The Saints also added defensive ends Alex Brown (from the Chicago Bears) and Jimmy Wilkerson (from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers) through free agency. Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams also has the option of shifting Anthony Hargrove, who played defensive tackle last season, over to defensive end.

The Saints brass must be confident in their options at the position as Smith could yet face a four game suspension stemming from the Star Caps case.

McCray, who previously played for the Jacksonville Jaguars, led the team in sacks in 2008 and had a strong presence in the past post-season, laying hard hits on both Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner and Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre in the two playoffs games leading to the Saints’ appearance in the Super Bowl.

McCray’s release could be attributed as a money saving move, though the pass rush specialist caused the team some off-field embarrassment in 2009 when he was arrested for a DWI in late December.

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