METAIRIE, La. (WGNO) — The New Orleans Saints cut 18 players in a final move to reach the NFL’s mandatory limit of 53 players on Tuesday.

The roster moves were announced by the team’s Executive Vice President and General Manager, Mickey Loomis.

Among the players cut were two wide receivers and New Orleans-area natives, including former Destrehan Wildcat Kirk Merritt and former Karr Cougar and Nicholls Colonel, Dai’Jean Dixon.

Both could be named to the practice squad as early as Wednesday.

Another casualty is last year’s fourth-round selection out of Notre Dame, quarterback Ian Book.

Book started one game in a losing effort last season in lieu of an injured Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill.

The Saints terminated the contracts of the following six players:

  • Josh Andrews, OL        
  • Jon Bostic, LB                
  • Taco Charlton, DE          
  • J.P. Holtz, TE                  
  • Nick Martin, C                
  • Eric Wilson, LB

The Saints have waived the following 12 players:

  • Ian Book, QB
  • Dai’Jean Dixon, WR
  • DaMarcus Fields, DB
  • Vincent Gray, DB
  • Chase Hansen, LB
  • Jordan Jackson, DT
  • Lucas Krull, TE
  • Niko Lalos, DE
  • Kirk Merritt, WR
  • Derek Schweiger, OL
  • Nephi Sewell, LB
  • Rashid Shaheed, WR/RS

Beginning Wednesday, the Saints may establish a practice squad of up to 16 players.

The Saints also placed defensive tackle Albert Huggins on injured reserve and wide receiver Kawaan Baker on the Reserve/Suspended by Commissioner list.

The Saints will open the regular season Sunday, Sept. 11 when they play at the Atlanta Falcons at 12 p.m. CT at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.