McCain, Barnes join Saints, who also cut 14 players
METAIRIE, La. (AP) Newly acquired offensive lineman Khalif Barnes and defensive end Chris McCain practiced for the first time Tuesday with the New Orleans Saints, who also cut 14 players as the NFL lowered maximum rosters from 90 players to 75 for the remainder of the preseason.
Those trimmed from the Saints' roster Tuesday were: tight end Rashaun Allen, receiver Reggie Bell, receiver Jared Dangerfield, defensive back Brandon Dixon, Guard Kaleb Eulls, defensive back Jamal Golden, receiver R.J. Harris, long snapper Chris Highland, running back Sione Houma, guard Cyril Lemon, defensive back Jimmy Pruitt, linebacker Tony Steward, defensive end Matt Shaughnessy, and defensive tackle C.J. Wilson.
More cuts will come between Thursday night's preseason finale against Baltimore and Week 1 of the regular season, when rosters must be reduced to 53 players.
The 6-foot-6, 320-pound Barnes, an 11-year veteran who has played with Jacksonville and Oakland, was brought in to compete for snaps on an offensive line that has struggled this preseason to both protect the quarterback and block for the run. Barnes has experience playing at both guard and tackle.
''Whatever they ask me to do, I'll do that to the best of my ability,'' Barnes said. ''Mentally, I think I've been playing long enough to kind of group the concepts together and kind of match those to what I've already known from other places.''
''I'd say I'd be familiar with whatever they want me to do,'' the 34-year-old Barnes added.
Barnes said he suspects his combination of experience and versatility made him a candidate to join the Saints' offensive line, where he is expected to play at least a few snaps against the Ravens on Thursday night.
Barnes also was a starter in Oakland when current Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen was the Raiders' head coach.
''That might have had something to do with it as well,'' he said.
Barnes appeared in 14 games with one start for Oakland last season. He was a starter for nearly all of his first 10 NFL seasons.
McCain, meanwhile, said he was eager to leave the Dolphins.
''I kind of just wasn't getting the opportunities that I thought I needed,'' McCain said, adding that he was pleased the Saints traded for him because ''it shows that they see something in me and I'll probably be able to show it here and just get more opportunities.''
McCain, who played in college at California, noted that he chose that program after visiting as a high school recruit and being hosted by current Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan.
''He's really the reason I went to Cal,'' McCain said. ''When I met him, I was like, he was a good role model and a good person to follow in his footsteps.''
One of McCain's former teammates at Cal-Berkeley, Daniel Lasco, also is with the Saints, who selected the running back in the seventh round of last spring's draft.
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