The New Orleans Saints announced yesterday that they have signed defensive tackle Alex Daniels to take the roster spot of cornerback Cord Parks.
Parks was fighting to make the final roster behind Johnny Patrick, Marquis Johnson, and rookie Corey White.
Daniels come to the Saints having played most recently as a linebacker/full back for the Chicago Rush of the Arena Football League.
Prior to his time with the Rush, Daniels spent time on the roster’s of the Oakland Raiders and Dallas Cowboys.
Daniels joined the Raiders as an undrafted free agent after the 2010 draft, spending the preseason there as a full back before being moved to defensive end.
Oakland released him officially in September.
A month later he would catch on with the Cowboys as a practice squad player where he was moved back to full back/tight end for a brief stint before shifting back to defensive end.
Dallas cut Daniels in December, but re-signed him in January at the conclusion of the regular season.
He was then waived/injured in August of 2011, and after clearing waivers, he reverted to the injured reserve list directly afterwards.
Daniels requested his release from injured reserve, and the Cowboys would oblige with an injury settlement in September.
But what do the Saints want with a player that’s been bounced around at multiple positions?
For the answer you don’t have to look any further than Daniels college career, where he played at both the University of Minnesota and the University of Cincinnati.
It was at Cincinnati, where he played as a true defensive tackle, where he recorded eight sacks his senior season.
Standing at 6’2″ 265 pounds, Daniels could provide depth for the Saints on the defensive line as they rebuild the defense under Steve Spagnuolo.
It’s no secret that Spagnuolo is looking for ways to improve the pass rush from the front four, and given Daniels clear athleticism, the Saints are likely envisioning him as a pass rush specialist.
New Orleans has six defensive tackles currently on the roster — Brodrick Bunkley, Sedrick Ellis, Remi Ayodele, Akiem Hicks, Tom Johnson, and Swanson Miller.
Daniels may not have the best shot at making the final roster, but if he can prove that he can rush the quarterback from the interior then he may find himself on the “53” as a valuable backup.