NFL News & Analysis

Houston Texans trade CB Bradley Roby to New Orleans Saints

Tampa, Florida, USA; Houston Texans cornerback Bradley Roby (21) runs an interception in for a touchdown during the first quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints pulled off a deal to upgrade at cornerback by acquiring Bradley Roby in a trade with the Houston Texans, sources told NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport.

Roby is expected to fill a void and start opposite Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore. The eighth-year veteran has one game remaining on his six-game suspension for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy last year.

New Orleans will head into Week 1 with Lattimore, Ken Crawley and Paulson Adebo, plus versatile defensive back Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, as their top cornerbacks.

Roby, a 2014 first-round pick out of Ohio State, earned a 71.5 overall PFF grade last season. He was drafted by the Denver Broncos and spent the last two years in Houston. He signed a three-year, $36 million contract with the Texans last offseason.

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Saints need him at his best: The veteran has been a consistently solid corner in the NFL, but his best play takes him above that level to the realms of an extremely valuable No. 2 cornerback. His best PFF grade came in 2017 when he recorded 15 pass breakups over the season. Click here for PFF Premium Stats.

Play him in zone: Roby's play has been markedly better in zone coverage schemes over the past several seasons. And while the Saints play Cover 1 the most of any single coverage shell, they play zone coverage on around 60% of their snaps.

Player Targets Forced
incompletion %
1. Casey Hayward Jr. 458 70 15.3%
2. Robert Alford 398 59 14.8%
3. Marlon Humphrey 339 49 14.5%
4. Stephon Gilmore 524 74 14.1%
5. Ronald Darby 452 63 13.9%
5. Ross Cockrell 302 42 13.9%
7. James Bradberry 445 61 13.7%
8. Marshon Lattimore 301 41 13.6%
9. Shaquill Griffin 301 40 13.3%
10. Bradley Roby 498 65 13.1%

Solid across the board in 2020: Last season, Roby ranked ninth among cornerbacks in coverage snaps per target and 15th in coverage snaps per reception allowed.

Click here to view Bradley Roby's career in PFF Premium Stats…

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The Saints' Outlook: New Orleans ranks seventh in the NFL in spread points above average, with Jameis Winston projected to be a league-average quarterback against the spread in 2021. PFF's new Power Rankings Tool offers projections based on 10,000 season simulations, given Team Point Spread Ratings, Strength of Schedule and team records.

Keep an eye on the under? Roby helps bolster an already impressive Saints' secondary, but they need all the help they can get against the second-most-difficult schedule in 2021. For this reason, we are slightly lower on the Saints' 2021 outlook than betting markets, with our simulation falling just short of their expected 9-game win total. PFF's Betting Futures Tool reveals betting opportunities within season win total and future markets.

Value on Saints at +4: The veteran corner won't be much help in Week 1 against the top returning offense in terms of opponent-adjusted grades. The spread has continued to move away from the Saints, with PFF Greenline finding the smallest amount of value on the Saints at +4. PFF Greenline uses exclusive game and player data to make projections on NFL game spreads, moneyline, and over/under.

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