If you had told me at the beginning of training camp that the Saints would bring in Greg Camarillo at some point during the preseason, I would have told you he stood zero shot at making the roster because the Saints’ depth was too significant. Marques Colston, Lance Moore and Devery Henderson had and still have the top three spots locked up – none of that has changed. Behind them has been a fierce battle between Courtney Roby (having the best camp of his career), Andy Tanner (having the best camp of his career), Adrian Arrington (who’s potential the Saints are firmly in love with), Joseph Morgan (the fastest of the group) and Nick Toon (a 4th round draft pick). The Saints will likely keep 6 receivers including Roby, who is primarily a special teamer, but it’s possible they could go as low as 5 or as high as 7 on opening day.
So why sign Greg Camarillo? As you know well by now, the injuries have really started to mount.
Arrington hasn’t seen any time this preseason as he just had surgery to repair his meniscus, Toon hasn’t seen any time either with an apparent foot injury that’s day to day at this point, and Andy Tanner just sprained his ankle in the last preseason game which should keep him out a while. The Saints are saying Tanner’s injury isn’t as bad as they initially expected, but I’d be shocked to see him play another preseason game at this point. Arrington and Toon are both longshots to play this weekend but both could play some in the final preseason game. So enter Camarillo who out of nowhere is #6 on the depth chart (if you don’t count Tanner/Arrington/Toon who all can’t play at present) on a roster that may keep as many as 6 receivers. That’s putting Joe Morgan ahead of him, who to this point has performed very inconsistently.
Camarillo, originally an undrafted rookie free agent that broke into the league with the Chargers, is 30 and enjoyed the prime of his career in 2008 and 2009 as a slot receiver for the Miami Dolphins. He spent the last two years with the Minnesota Vikings, though he did not catch a pass last season. While he hasn’t been able to build on two solid seasons in 08/09, he’s still a player with solid hands that can make things happen after the catch. In a lot of ways, he’s a healthy version of Andy Tanner. With the season opener just three weeks away, being a healthy backup receiver comes at a premium right now give the Saints’ rash of injuries.
Camarillo comes to the team taking the roster spot of LB Chris Chamberlain, who is on IR for the year after he tore his ACL. The Saints also placed G Fenuki Tupou on IR, meaning there’s another roster spot available to sign someone with. I didn’t know Tupou had injured himself in the last game but apparently it was at least fairly serious. No word at this point if they’ve filled his vacated roster spot. Topou played poorly in preseason in my estimation, so his chance of making the roster were almost non existent.