WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — The New Orleans Saints made a handful of roster moves before arriving at training camp Tuesday.
The team released defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley after he failed a physical and placed receiver Marques Colston, safety Jairus Byrd and defensive tackle Glenn Foster on the physically unable to perform list. Cornerback Brian Dixon was placed on the non-football injury list.
Center Michael Brewster, who was released Monday with an injury designation, cleared waivers and returned to injured reserve.
Players on the physically unable to perform list can return to action as soon as they are healthy.
Bunkley was sidelined with an undisclosed injury throughout the offseason program.
The 31-year-old renegotiated his contract this offseason, trimming his salary-cap number from $6.112 million to $2.95 million. With his release and the designation, any future money owed on the contract voids, but there is a salary-cap hit of $3.475 million in dead money due to previous bonuses already paid out that prorate over the life of the contract. The Saints can split the payments over two years and receive a $1.3 million salary-cap benefit this season.
He appeared in 11 games last season before being placed on injured reserve in November. Over 276 snaps, he recorded 17 tackles.
His release opens the door for players such as John Jenkins and rookie Tyeler Davison to compete for a starting role or more snaps.
Byrd also started last year’s training camp on the PUP list after back surgery. During minicamp, he said he was feeling healthy and was looking forward to having a full offseason to work with his teammates.
Colston was limited during the offseason program but said he was being given veteran’s rest and took part in some practices that were closed to the media.
Foster did not take part in practices during the offseason program. Dixon’s situation is not yet known.
Payton on Galette
The Saints could no longer tolerate Junior Galette‘s off-the-field indiscretions, but coach Sean Payton said he still thinks the linebacker could find success elsewhere.
Payton, who is scheduled to meet with local media after the Saints’ reporting date Wednesday, appeared on Pro Football Talk Live on Tuesday and made his first comments on the team’s decision to release Galette.
“I think, when it’s all said and done, there was more expected off the field,” Payton said. “There were too many times there were some inconsistencies, some things that took place where we didn’t feel comfortable as a club.”
Galette was arrested on a domestic violence charge in January after an altercation with a woman at his Kenner home, although the charges were later dropped. In the summer, the Saints sent a video to the NFL that reportedly showed Galette striking a woman and others in a March 2013 brawl on Miami Beach.
“As a head coach, you feel like you failed because you take a vested interest him having success and seeing him accomplish all the things you want,” Payton said. “Yet at the same time, there is a team element that we felt was really paramount, and it was really in the best interest in what we felt going forward for our team.”