The New Orleans Saints have a made a few roster transactions as they start their first mandatory mini-camp, which will run from today through the seventh, before a lengthy break before the start of true offseason activities.
Former Tampa Bay Buccaneer Elbert Mack (5-10, 175) agreed to a one-year deal with the Saints today, adding him into the competition for the nickel/dime corner spot.
For the last few weeks second-year man Johnny Patrick, fifth-round choice Corey White, and free agent addition Marquis Johnson have battled for this coveted spot.
Mack made a free agent visit with the Saints last month but was not immediately offered a contract by the team.
An undrafted free agent out of Troy in 2008, Mack defied the odds and made the Buccaneers final roster that season.
He has appeared in 58 games with four official starts for Tampa Bay accounting for 76 tackles, 11 pass deflections, five interceptions, and one defensive touchdown.
Mack also made an impact on special teams notching 30 tackles.
Adding a veteran like Mack makes sense for the Saints relatively young secondary, and he could turn into a major contributor, at least on special teams, if he sticks with the team.
New Orleans also has added quarterback Luke McCown (6-4, 217) on a try-out basis, as well as running back Joe Banyard.
McCown was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the fourth round of the 2004 NFL Draft where he played for only one season.
From there McCown has spent time as a back-up on the roster’s of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2005-2008) and most recently the Jacksonville Jaguars (2009-2011).
His career stats include 184 completions (58.2% completion percentage) for 2,035 yards, 9 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions.
Banyard (5-11, 210) went undrafted out of the University of Texas at El Paso.
He caught on with the Jaguars and made it through their rookie mini-camp before his release.
Scouts noted that Banyard was an exceptional pass blocker but lacked the elite speed and “wiggle” to be successful at the NFL level.
The Saints already have immense talent at the running back position with Pierre Thomas, Mark Ingram, Darren Sproles, and Chris Ivory.
Barring any major injuries (Ingram is recovering from minor knee surgery) he stands little chance to make the roster at any level.