The New Orleans Saints placed tight end Michael Hoomanawanui on injured reserve and cut 21 players – including recently acquired offensive lineman Khalif Barnes and defensive end Chris McCain – to trim their roster to the regular season maximum of 53.
One of the moves made by Saturday’s deadline was the release of kicker Connor Barth, meaning Kai Forbath will retain the job he took over during last season.
Hoomanawanui, one of New Orleans’ top blocking tight ends, has been sidelined since going down with an undisclosed injury in New Orleans’ third preseason game.
McCain was acquired Monday in a trade that sent a conditional seventh-round pick to Miami. The Saints will now retain that pick. Barnes was acquired the same day as a free agent.
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Also cut were: defensive tackle Bobby Richardson; defensive ends Darryl Tapp, Davis Tull and C.J. Wilson; linebacker Jeff Schoettmer; fullback Austin Johnson; receivers Jake Lampman and Jordan Williams-Lambert; offensive linemen Jack Allen, Joseph Cheek, John Fullington, Marcus Henry, Tony Hills, and Tyrus Thompson; tight end Garrett Griffin; and defensive backs Brian Dixon and Trae Elston.
Johnson scored a touchdown on a short pass in New Orleans’ preseason finale against Baltimore on Thursday night, but the Saints elected to go with veteran fullback John Kuhn, who was acquired during training camp.
Four undrafted rookies – receiver Tommylee Lewis, guard Landon Turner, and defensive backs De'Vante Harris and Ken Crawley – remain on the roster, as do all five of the Saints’ 2016 draft choices.