New Orleans Saints complete trade with Houston Texans for CB Bradley Roby

The New Orleans Saints completed their trade for cornerback Bradley Roby on Thursday, sending a 2022 third-round draft pick and a 2023 conditional sixth-round pick to the Houston Texans.

To facilitate the trade, the Texans converted $7.6 million of Roby's base salary into a signing bonus, a source told ESPN's Field Yates. Roby's base salary for 2021 is now $1,862,645, which fits into the Saints' salary-cap space.

Defensive coordinator Dennis Allen said Thursday he feels like the Saints "just added another piece to the puzzle."

"You can never have enough good cornerbacks, which are hard to find in our league," Allen said. "I like his size, speed, length, athleticism, he's really smart. And I think he's gonna fit in much like Jackrabbit did [when the Saints acquired cornerback Janoris Jenkins in a late-season trade in 2019]."

Allen also said that he likes the fact that Roby comes from a "really good pedigree" and that the Saints have had a lot of success with defensive backs from Ohio State in the past -- including current cornerback Marshon Lattimore, current safety Malcolm Jenkins and former defensive backs like Vonn Bell and Eli Apple.

Roby was a first-round draft pick of the Denver Broncos in 2014. He spent the past two years in Houston and has started 49 career games with 10 interceptions.

Roby, 29, is entering the second year of a three-year, $31.5 million extension that he signed with the Texans last year. He will miss the first game of the season, however, as part of a six-game suspension that began in 2020 for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances.

The Saints have identified cornerback as a "must-fill" position ever since they released former starter Jenkins in March as part of a massive salary-cap purge and then lost one potential starting contender, Patrick Robinson, to a surprise retirement early in training camp. They even attempted to trade up nearly 20 spots in the NFL draft to land top prospects Jaycee Horn or Pat Surtain II.

New Orleans signed veteran Desmond Trufant on Monday to compete with Ken Crawley and rookie Paulson Adebo for the No. 2 starting cornerback job across from Pro Bowler Marshon Lattimore. However, Roby now becomes the front-runner to lock down that job following his suspension.

ESPN's Adam Schefter and Mike Triplett contributed to this report.