Saints sign rookie CB Robinson to 5-year deal
METAIRIE, La. (AP) – The New Orleans Saints agreed to terms with first-round draft choice Patrick Robinson in time for him to get on the field halfway through the Super Bowl champions’ first training camp practice Friday morning.
Robinson got right to work, breaking a couple of passes early in seven-on-seven drills shortly after hitting the field.
“It made me feel good,” Robinson said. “I was trying to stay as calm as I could, and that was pretty much it, stay as calm as I could and be focused. Just being there is not enough. I think I have to make plays and start getting on the field more.”
Robinson will be trying to find playing time at one of the more talented positions on New Orleans’ team. Starting cornerbacks Jabari Greer, who generally matched up one-on-one against opponents’ top receivers, and Tracy Porter, who made crucial interceptions in both the NFC Championship and the Super Bowl, both had standout seasons last year.
The 32nd overall selection out of Florida State, Robinson was the last of New Orleans’ six draft choices to sign a contract, agreeing to a five-year deal.
Robinson, who came to terms late Thursday night, said he got about two hours sleep before getting up to catch an early flight from Atlanta. He arrived in New Orleans about 8:30 a.m. Friday, and went straight to the team’s headquarters to sign the contract and begin practicing.
“I had all my bags packed trying to get ready for camp,” Robinson said. “I was trying to get here so I won’t be behind, so it was a good thing I got here on time, showed up with the team. I wanted to start on time – get into the playbook.
“I think I picked it up pretty quick. I think it went pretty smooth. I don’t think I was as good as I want to be but for the first day it was good.”
Coach Sean Payton said he was pleased that Robinson arrived on the first day after most of the first-round picks in his previous four seasons missed practice time before signing a contract.
“I think it would be a lot more common for a guy to miss the first couple of practices,” Payton said.
Last year’s No. 1 pick, safety Malcolm Jenkins, who played cornerback as a rookie, missed nearly the first two weeks of training camp during contract negotiations.
“Last year I missed the entire first week and when I came in we were getting ready to play Cincinnati (in the preseason opener),” Jenkins said, “so I missed all the experience and knowledge that you get. I think it will be great for him because he can get all these practices in, get all of this experience before we go play the first preseason game in New England (on Aug. 12).”
NOTES: New Orleans released long snapper Clint Gresham, an undrafted free agent from TCU, to make room on the roster for Robinson. … FS Darren Sharper (knee), WRs Marques Colston (knee) and Robert Meachem (toe), and LB Clint Ingram (knee) missed team drills as they remain on the Active/PUP list until they are able to pass a physical. … FB Heath Evans (knee) and DL Jimmy Wilkerson (knee) were held out of the afternoon practice because they are coming back from major knee surgeries. … The Saints moved their afternoon practices Friday and Saturday inside their indoor practice facility as a precaution due to an extreme heat advisory issued by the National Weather Service.