METAIRIE, La. -- Even though New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton set his 53-man active roster on Saturday afternoon, it was far from a finished product.
The main reason: Payton, who usually tinkers with his roster after the final 53 names are submitted to the league, cut both of the kickers who waged a duel throughout the spring and summer -- veteran Shayne Graham and Derek Dimke.
Changes were assured when Payton, who said last week they had no plans to look outside their building for a kicker, released both. It's possible that one of the two will be re-signed Tuesday, the day teams are allowed to put one player on injured reserve with a designation to return as opposed to season-ending IR.
That could be starting fullback Erik Lorig, who has not practiced since suffering an undisclosed injury in the Black and Gold Scrimmage back on Aug. 2. Payton acknowledged two weeks ago that Lorig probably wouldn't return until after the regular season got underway.
While having no kicker on the 53-man roster was a surprise, the biggest name among the 22 roster moves the Saints made Saturday was future Hall of Fame cornerback Champ Bailey.
The Saints signed Bailey, a 12-time Pro Bowl pick, in April to compete for the open starting job opposite Keenan Lewis. But the 36-year-old Bailey suffered a plantar fascia injury in the first week of training camp and lost valuable practice time with his new teammates.
Bailey received a two-year incentive-laden contract that included a $500,000 signing bonus. But they were content to keep undrafted rookie free agent Brian Dixon, likely because Dixon plays on special teams and Bailey, who dislocated a finger in the preseason final on Thursday night, doesn't.
Bailey was scheduled to compete with former first-round draft pick Patrick Robinson, who was coming off a torn patellar tendon that he suffered in Week 2 last season, but Bailey couldn't overtake him because of his injury.
"He just missed too much time for the coach's evaluation to be complete," Bailey's agent, Jack Reale, told the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.
The Saints also terminated the contract of wide receiver Robert Meachem in an apparent youth movement at the position. Meachem was one of only eight players remaining on the roster from the Saints 2009 team that won Super Bowl XLIV. A first-round pick in 2007, he played with the team until 2011 and went to the San Diego Chargers in free agency in 2012 but was released early last season and wound up back with the Saints.
Meachem, who caught 16 passes for 324 yards in his return to the Saints last season, had his finest season in 2009 when he had 45 receptions for 722 yards while helping the Saints win their first Super Bowl.
His release leaves the Saints with nine-year veteran Marques Colston and four youngsters -- second-year pro Kenny Stills, rookie Brandin Cooks, three-year veteran Nick Toon and Joseph Morgan -- for Drew Brees to throw to.
Saints punter Thomas Morstead took to Twitter to make light of the fact that the team had no kickers on the 53-man roster.
Morstead, who was a place-kicker during his college career at SMU, posted a photo of himself in a Mustangs uniform with this message: "It's been a longtime ... Last time I checked, 70% college kicker ain't good enough..."
Only one of the Saints' six draft picks this season did not make the 53-man roster as tackle Tavon Rooks, their sixth-round selection, was waived Saturday.
Making the club were Cooks (first round), cornerback Stanley Jean-Baptiste (second), linebackers Khairi Fortt (fourth) and Ronald Powell (fifth), and safety Vinnie Sunseri (fifth).
Notes: Wide receiver Kenny Stills, who missed most of training camp with a strained quad, did not play in last Thursday night's preseason finale and it is unknown when he will return. . . . Fullback Erik Lorig, sidelined since Aug. 2 with an unspecified leg injury, likely will not be ready for the season opener, according to Payton. . . Wide receiver Brandin Cooks played in the preseason finale after missing the third exhibition game with a stomach bug and high fever.