When NFL franchises look to fill their rosters, physical skill is at the forefront of the decision. With so many recent locker room and off-the-field incidents, however, player character is becoming more of a focus to coaches, general managers and owners around the league. When you factor all of that, along with the smarts to absorb the ever-changing playbook and the disposition to handle the business of the NFL, you get Travaris Cadet.
New Additions Not a Distraction for Travaris Cadet
For Travaris Cadet, some of those characteristics came very easy to him. At an early age, the Miami native knew he stood out physically. When asked when he realized he could do things other kids his age couldn’t do, Cadet offered, “My first year playing ball. I noticed it at five or six years old. I knew that I was faster than pretty much anybody on the field.”
Cadet would excel throughout his youth and stay focused with guidance from some of the great coaches along the way like Jerry Moore.
“Jerry Moore was something that I needed at that time,” explained Cadet. I had some maturing to do and I think he helped me with that.
The most influential people in his journey toward the NFL, however, were his family. Cadet spoke of his uncle and two cousins that “pushed him to the limits” while adding the support that he needed during his journey. As the conversation continued, the topic of family was a constant.
The Call From the New Orleans Saints
Cadet, a player once described as, “one of the most explosive players in the nation” would eventually get his shot. The 6’1” running back described the moment he received the call from the New Orleans Saints.
“Actually, it was crazy because the Dolphins and Buffalo had called around the sixth or seventh round,” he said. “I had met with New Orleans at the ‘Battle of Florida’ game and they told me they were interested. At the end of the draft, when I saw that ‘504’ number come through my phone, I already knew who it was and I knew what time it was.”
Cadet would then add, “I had gone to junior college in Mississippi and, basically, New Orleans is their home team.”
The Appalachian State product finally knew where he was going.
“Right then and there, it’s some relief off your shoulders knowing exactly where I was gonna be because the whole process thinking about what city you’re gonna be playing in is kind of nerve wracking at times,” Cadet emphasized. “It was great finally receiving that call.”
After three years with the Saints from 2012-2014, Cadet had a brief stint with New England and San Francisco. In 2015, Cadet found his way back to the Saints and has been there since.
Cadet on Today’s Saints
When asked who he was closest to on the current roster, there was no hesitation in Cadet’s response.
“I’d say Mark Ingram because we’ve been together since we both came into the league,” he said.
After explaining how many of the faces in the locker room have changed, Cadet went on to praise Ingram for being a mainstay for the Saints.
“It’s rare to see a guy on a team for a certain amount of years,” he noted. “Being that the business is so crazy, there really is no loyalty.”
In regards to Ingram, Cadet would also add, “I like everything about him. I like his work ethic. We laugh on each other. That’s my little brother!”
As the topic of other running backs was present, there was an obvious looming topic. The addition of Adrian Peterson, Ted Ginn and Alvin Kamara would seem to present a tough road for playing time in that crowded backfield. But in true Travaris Cadet fashion, he takes the roster changes in stride
“I feel like we’ve always had a group of good backs,” Cadet stated. “I feel that Coach (Sean) Payton has always done a good job of getting everybody involved. I feel it’s not gonna be any different this year with them adding AP and adding Kamara. At the end of the day, we still have to battle and that’s what it all comes down to.”
“I can’t shy away from competition because all its gonna do is make you better. There hasn’t been a year in New Orleans that we didn’t have a group of backs that were very competitive and good at what they do.”
Cadet would go on to explain how he understands that the rumor mill may buzz from time to time, but he can’t control that. He keeps his head focused and grinds, keeping the ultimate goal of a Lombardi Trophy in front of any personal stats or accolades. Cadet’s selfless approach is what makes him such a great locker room presence and what may help shape the up and coming Kamara.
Travaris Cadet Off the Field
So what is Travaris Cadet doing when he’s not in football mode? Without surprise, the first thing Cadet mentioned was spending time with family. Also on the list were boxing, hitting up a roller coaster or two and his passion for business.
Cadet disclosed, “I study business like I study a playbook when I have the time. I’m a big fan of Warren Buffet and his philosophies.”
So how will the 2017 New Orleans Saints backfield scenario play out? With Sean Payton’s ever-evolving offense, it’s tough to know. Regardless of how things work out, one given is that Travaris Cadet will handle the evolution of this offense with determination, grace and selflessness.