Listen up and listen clear, because this doesn't happen very often. There's not many times where my ego allows me to be upset in situations where I was absolutely right, but this is undoubtedly one of them. Nothing felt right about this from the jump. From Keenan Lewis being shelved nearly all of training camp to this point, to the relative silence surrounding the state of his health, to the signing of an another veteran corner when the position seemed to be one of the deepest on the defense, to Keenan's own defiant declarations that couldn't have seemed more forced. There just wasn't much to point to if your argument was that 'Westbank' was going to be a significant contributor this season.
That doesn't make his release any less shocking - to me anyway - but it's also not the world's most difficult of puzzles we are piecing together here. After a promising season in which he surprised even the most diehard of Saints fans, Keenan Lewis has had a rough go of things. Some of that has to do with the HORRIFIC defense he was trying to carry on his back much of the time, but most of it has been due to injuries that have kept him off the field. Simply put - no matter how talented or driven - 30 year old cornerbacks with nagging knee and hip problems don't hold jobs very long.
My subjectivity wishes that weren't so. K-Lew has only been a Saint for three years now and he's only been on the field for two of them. Even typing that out it doesn't feel right, because he's been such an outspoken leader and staunch supporter of the city he grew up in that it feels like he's wrapping up a much lengthier stay. Maybe that has something to do with the fact that the Saints defense has made the last two years feel farrrrr longer than they actually were, but it's also a testament to how much it meant to him to be a New Orleans Saint. He was basically a fan on the field, and - while that doesn't mean all that much in and of itself - the fact that it was reflected in his play absolutely did.
I don't think many people will forget the game he played with his knee looking like a full-sized grapefruit and they shouldn't, because it's that type of perseverance that the defense has been lacking since 2013. Keenan Lewis, regardless of what he had left in the tank, will be missed. It's encouraging that the unforeseen success of young players made this move possible, but it's discouraging that they won't be able to benefit from having his leadership and knowledge in the locker room with them. Hopefully he can shake the injury bug because he's a talented dude that works his ass off and wears his heart on his sleeve, but I can't fault the Saints for not wanting to stand idly by waiting to see if it would happen. So we must bid you adieu 'Westbank', but just know that we do so begrudgingly and you'll always have a "Who Dat!?" waiting for ya back home.