METAIRIE, La. -- The New Orleans Saints terminated the contract of linebacker Victor Butler, head coach Sean Payton confirmed Tuesday, while also revealing the team's seven other roster cuts prior to NFL's afternoon deadline.
The Saints trimmed their roster to the league-mandated 75 players by also terminating the contracts of tight end Travis Beckum, while waiving quarterback Logan Kilgore, offensive lineman Manase Foketi, and defensive linemen George Uko and Rufus Johnson Jr.
Butler, who missed all of last season after tearing his ACL in OTAs last summer, was clearly the notable, though. He began training camp healthy, but was sidelined for all but a few days with an ankle injury, Payton said, making it a challenge to give him the reps necessary to evaluate him.
'We had a long talk yesterday and look, he is frustrated I'm sure, just because (of) the early injury and then the setback this year in training camp after the rehab,' Payton said. 'It is always difficult especially when a player doesn't really have a chance to put his best foot forward.'
The Saints saved $1.5 million by terminating Butler's contract. He signed a two-year, $3 million deal prior to last season, when he followed defensive coordinator Rob Ryan from Dallas to New Orleans.
The Saints aquired Butler last year believing they could plug him to Ryan's 3-4 defense as the team transitioned from the 4-3. Butler, however, never saw the field.
'You go out and you sign a player like him, you have a role you envision and it didn't work out,' Payton said.
Sweeting, meanwhile, missed most of training camp with an undisclosed injury and did not play either of the last two preseason games.
Reddick was a core special teams player in 2013, despite playing in only three games on defense. However, with the emergence of several young linebackers, he became expendable.
'There's a handful of players that were on last year's roster, like Rod and Kevin, that have been in battles.' Payton said. 'None of them were easy decisions and it's one of the challenges at this time of the year.'
Payton added, 'I think there are some young guys, look, (Kasim) Edebali is a guy that has been productive and around the ball. (Ronald) Powell is growing and learning. Khairi Fortt is nicked up and so, (we are) trying to get him healthy. And that may not be possible with the way it looks now.'
The Saints final preseason game is 7 p.m. Thursday against the Baltimore Ravens. By 3 p.m. Saturday, the team must trim its roster to 53 men. The Saints open the season in Atlanta on Sept. 7.