Saints TE Williams (right knee) to miss season

Fifth-year tight end Boo Williams, a part-time starter for the New Orleans Saints but a player offered up in trade talks this spring, will miss the entire 2005 season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament in his right knee during Friday night's preseason loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

Williams, 26, suffered the injury in the third quarter when he became pinned between two defenders while blocking on a running play. His right knee rolled under him, tearing two of the four ligaments in the knee. The team could decide as early as Sunday, when Saints officials are expected to announce their first round of roster cuts, whether Williams, who was able to battle through a hamstring injury earlier in camp, will be placed on injured reserve or released with an injury settlement.

New Orleans still has five other tight ends, including four veterans, on the roster. The current starter is listed as Ernie Conwell.

An undrafted free agent in 2001, Williams is arguably the most physically talented of the Saints' tight ends. But his lapses in concentration, dropped passes and assignment errors made him a source of frequent frustration for the coaching staff. The Saints tried to trade the former Arkansas standout during the offseason.

In four previous seasons, Williams appeared in 59 games and started 22 of them, with eight starts in 2004. He has 107 catches for 1,143 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. To check out Len's chat archive, click hereInsider.