Just before the 2021 season began, the New Orleans Saints agreed on a trade with the Houston Texans to bring veteran cornerback Bradley Roby to New Orleans. Roby was seen as a player that could replace the departed Janoris Jenkins opposite star cornerback Marshon Lattimore. But there was one complication: a one-game suspension to start the year. In November of 2020, Roby was suspended due to violation of the NFL’s PED policy. There were only five games left in that season, leading to the lone suspension in 2021.
During that game, third-round rookie Paulson Adebo took off with a very strong debut against the reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. He piled on 3 combined tackles, a pass defensed and an interception. More specifically, a red zone interception after Rodgers marched the Packers offense down the field. After that, Adebo never relinquished the spot.
It didn’t look like the Stanford alum would lose his role on the outside going into 2022 either and it still doesn’t. Not due to his performance, at least. He’s had a great start to the season with a consistently impressive training camp. But now, there are some sensible questions around his availability after not being seen in Wednesday’s open viewing window.
For Roby, it’s all full circle. He was acquired via trade to compete to serve this role, but Adebo had such an astronomical ascension, it didn’t come to fruition his first year in the Big Easy. Roby, an eight-year veteran, is not a bad backup plan in the slightest. With Adebo listed as a non-participant in Wednesday’s injury report after practice, Roby makes sense as the next man up.
Roby went from from potential starting corner, to valuable veteran depth in year one. He then started the offseason with some outlets suggesting he be traded to another team. After sticking on the roster, he became the prime candidate to replace C.J. Gardner-Johnson in the slot after the star safety was traded and now he could potentially get snaps as the starting cornerback for the Saints season opener in Atlanta. Adebo could return in the next couple of days and still find the field on gameday, but if not, the Saints are far from lost thanks to Roby.