The new league year for the NFL begins on Wednesday, but teams can do work within their franchise and the New Orleans Saints are doing just that. The Saints are doing some work to keep their improved defense and special teams together which makes their two recent roster moves big for the upcoming season.
The Times-Picayune is reporting that special teams captain and linebacker Craig Robertson is staying in New Orleans. Robertson is a seven-year NFL veteran who has brought a lot to the Saints and that is especially true on special teams.
Robertson first arrived at the Saints three seasons ago, and he has more than proven his worth with the team. The linebacker has played extremely well on defense and even better on special teams which earned him the “captain” title last season.
In 105 career NFL games (64 starts), Robertson has 532 tackles with 359 of those being solo. He also has four sacks, three interceptions, three forced fumbles, 26 passes defenses, eight fumble recoveries, 42 special teams stops, one special teams fumble recovery, and one blocked punt recovery.
Saints fans will also remember his big stops last season when he thwarted a fake field goal try by the Rams and fake punt attempt by the Steelers. Craig Robertson’s contract extension is for two more years with the Saints.
The other big transaction by the Saints is the re-signing of safety Chris Banjo who signed a three-year contract extension. That agreement was made a few days ago, but the Saints only officially announced it as of Monday afternoon.
Banjo really came about in 2018 as he played in all 16 games with five tackles with three of them being solo. He did have career highs in 2018 with two interceptions and three passes defenses to go along with five tackles on special teams.
Both of Banjo’s picks came against the Philadelphia Eagles.
The New Orleans Saints ranked third in punt coverage in the NFL as they gave up only five yards per return. The Saints also allowed a league-low of only 60 punt return yards for the entire season which is insane when you sit back and think about it.
Banjo has been in the league for five years after signing with the Jacksonville Jaguars as an underrated free agent in 2013. By mid-2016, he had found his way to New Orleans and it appears as if he’s more than happy being there. The Saints are already working on securing their own strong core before moving onto free agency later this week.