AFR: Production and cost brought Richardson back to Saints

Outside linebacker Jay Richardson did well enough in preseason to earn a roster spot. There's no denying that.

But Richardson had one thing going against him: years in the NFL. He had already accrued four years thus making him a vested veteran. Vested veterans on opening day rosters have their contracts guaranteed.

That's why he was cut on cut day.  It certainly wasn't because of his play. The Saints simply couldn't afford that with their ultra-tight cap situation.

Sean Payton obviously liked his play, he wouldn't have told him there was a good chance they would bring him back if he didn't.

Now that week one is done, low and behold Richardson is back, but at a much better rate.

It happens all over the NFL. The biggest risk is if another team picks Richardson up in the process. Luckily for the Saints, no one did.

There's also an obvious football reasoning for this. Finances played a role in his exit but bringing him back had as much to do injuries over anything else. The Saints are banged up in the front seven. They only had two active outside linebackers Sunday. Plus, Broderick Bunkley and Tyrunn Walker both went down during the game. Neither have practiced all week. Glenn Foster missed last week and his availability is still unknown. Their potential absences mean the Saints may have to shift some pieces around along that line.

That's where Richardson's versatility comes in. He can play end or outside linebacker. Something the Saints may need for a few weeks.

Richardson's addition meant the subtraction of Andy Tanner. Tanner was a great story who fought his way onto the roster but as the fifth wide receiver, sometimes the numbers don't add up in his favor.

I don't think this is the end for Tanner though. Either another team will pick him up or he could be back either on the active roster or practice squad.

Sean Payton said there would be a lot of fluidity at the bottom of his 53-man roster. Clearly, he was telling the truth.