Sean Payton, Broncos trade for Saints kicker Wil Lutz
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Sean Payton is reuniting with Saints kicker Wil Lutz, according to NFL Insider Ian Rapoport.
The Denver Broncos are sending a seventh-round pick to New Orleans for Lutz, according to ESPN.
“At the beginning of the whole process, he was a target for us,’’ Payton said. “We knew they had two players ... I was there through the whole beginning with Wil.’’
The move would give rookie Blake Grupe the starting job in New Orleans. Grupe hit a 59-yard field goal in practice and was the main kicker in New Orleans’ final preseason game against the Houston Texans on Sunday. Grupe kicked a 38-yard field goal and a 50-yard field goal before missing a 60-yard attempt wide right.
Lutz thanked New Orleans “for the best 7 years of my life” in an Instagram post and said he was excited to be joining the Broncos.
Lutz, 29, spent five years as Payton’s kicker with the Saints. He did not kick a single time in 2021 due to an injury and was 23-of-31 in FGA in 2022, the worst percentage (74.2%) of his career.
He was named to his only career Pro Bowl in 2019, when he was 32-of-36 in field goal attempts, including 16-of-20 on attempts of 40 yards or more, and 48-of-49 on extra points.
On “cut down day” the Saints made several other roster moves, terminating the contracts of eight players, including cornerback Bradley Roby, and former second-round pick, linebacker Jaylon Smith.
|Jesse James||TE||6-7||261||29||9||Penn State|
|Bradley Roby||CB||5-11||194||31||10||Ohio State|
|Jaylon Smith||LB||6-2||240||28||7||Notre Dame|
The Saints waived 26 players, including punter Blake Gillikin. Undrafted free agent punter Lou Hedley, 30, will become the second rookie kicker taking over on special teams. Hedley is the second punter signed to the Saints since the team released Thomas Morstead before the 2021 season.
Hedley punted for Miami from 2019-2022 after transferring from City College of San Francisco. He is a former Australian rules football player.
|Johnathan Abram||S||6-0||205||26||5||Mississippi State|
|Kawaan Baker||WR||6-1||215||25||1||South Alabama|
|Jake Bargas||FB||6-2||250||26||1||North Carolina|
|Lynn Bowden Jr.||WR||6-1||204||25||3||Kentucky|
|Jerron Cage||DL||6-2||305||24||R||Ohio State|
|Shaq Davis||WR||6-5||215||23||R||South Carolina State|
|Mark Evans II||OL||6-4||295||23||R||Arkansas-Pine Bluff|
|Adrian Frye||DB||6-0||205||24||R||Texas Tech|
|Blake Gillikin||P||6-2||196||25||3||Penn State|
|Lewis Kidd||OL||6-6||311||25||2||Montana State|
|Tommy Kraemer||G||6-6||316||25||3||Notre Dame|
|Troy Pride||DB||5-11||193||25||3||Notre Dame|
Beginning Wednesday, the Saints may establish a practice squad of up to 16 players. The Saints will open the regular season Sunday, September 10 when they play at the Tennessee Titans at 12:00 p.m. CT at the Caesars Superdome.
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