The Saints are going back to the Buckeye well for secondary support.
New Orleans is acquiring cornerback Bradley Roby in a trade with the Houston Texans, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported on Wednesday. The trade became official via the league transaction wire on Thursday.
The 29-year-old Roby has one game left in his six-game suspension he received late last season for a violation of the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances. When he returns, he'll step into a starting role opposite fellow former Ohio State standout Marshon Lattimore.
The Saints have not been bashful about their need at cornerback, signing veteran Desmond Trufant earlier in the week. New Orleans also released running back Latavius Murray on Tuesday, clearing cap that could be used to facilitate additional defensive moves like the trade involving Roby.
New Orleans has a history of turning to former first-round Buckeyes who never quite stuck with their initial NFL teams. The Saints acquired former Giants first-rounder Eli Apple via trade in October of 2018, and Apple stuck with the Saints through the conclusion of the 2019 campaign.
Roby's tale is similar, having played his first five seasons in Denver but never fully living up to his own first-round hype before moving onto Houston, where he's played 10 games in each of his last two seasons, recording a combined three interceptions.
Roby is a better player and a higher-quality addition than Apple was when he was acquired by New Orleans. The Saints will need Roby to play at a starter's caliber upon arrival. He'll get a week to digest the mental side of his new job before he's permitted to rejoin the team and prepare for the Saints' Week 2 game in Charlotte.