Saints cut Grady Jackson

Updated: November 3, 2003, 6:00 PM ET

NEW ORLEANS -- The New Orleans Saints cut defensive tackle Grady Jackson on Monday.

Jackson, a talented but troubled defensive tackle who has been unable to keep his weight down, had just completed a one-week suspension for breaking a team rule.

"We felt it was probably not the best fit for us right now," said Saints coach Jim Haslett.

Jackson and his agent Bus Cook did not return calls.

Jackson was suspended for Sunday's game against NFC South rival and defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay after he did not report to the team hotel for the home game against the Carolina Panthers the week before.

Jackson did not play in that game because of an injury to the small finger of his left hand. He had surgery on the finger that week to reattach the ligament.

Even though Jackson was not playing, he was still supposed to report to the hotel the night before the game.

Jackson, who was drawing weekly fines for being overweight, was in the final year of a two-year contract. He was scheduled to make a base salary of $1 million this season, meaning he forfeited approximately $58,200.

If Jackson is not signed by another team the Saints will have to pay the rest of his salary for this year.

Haslett and others were upset Jackson decided to sit out the Carolina game, believing he could play with the finger injury. They have also been unhappy with Jackson's weight.

Jackson, along with defensive tackles Norman Hand and Martin Chase, all well over 300 pounds, were known as the "Heavy Lunch Bunch" last season. The trio came in for criticism after the season. Coaches said their weight had become excessive and hampered their ability to play.

Hand and Chase were traded.

Jackson missed the offseason workouts at the Saints' facility, saying he had personal problems and could not be in New Orleans for them.

He was demoted from the starting spot at the beginning of training camp, but moved up again before the season started. He weighed 343 pounds at training camp, but his weight has apparently increased since then. He was thought to be at about 370 during his last week with the Saints.

Even so, Jackson is a talented lineman who can stop the run and rush passers.

This season Jackson has 29 tackles, 3{ sacks for minus-22 yards and three passes defensed.

The Saints used their No. 1 draft pick this spring for defensive tackle Johnathan Sullivan and also picked up veteran DT Henry Ford. Sullivan has improved through the season, Haslett said. Haslett expects to get defensive end Darren Howard back following the bye week.

For the last two games, the line played well enough without Jackson that Haslett felt confident in cutting him.

This story is from's automated news wire. Wire index