NFL Free Agency: New Orleans Saints Sign Seneca Wallace and What it Means for 2013


Aug 10, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Seneca Wallace (6) looks to pass during the second half of a preseason game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Cleveland defeated Detroit 19-17. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints continue to be active in the back end of free agency by making quality signings that improve the depth of the team while making smart use of the very limited cap room the team currently has before the draft.

On Monday, the Saints inked veteran quarterback Seneca Wallace to a contract. Greg Bensel was the first with the news via Twitter:

Wallace joins an increasing stable of names highlighted by Drew Brees and the recently-signed Luck McCown.

Now at the crisp age of 32, Wallace is heading into his eight season in the league with his third different team. Last season Wallace didn’t have a home, but spent two seasons before that as a member of the Cleveland Browns.

Wallace is what you could classify as a dual-threat quarterback who averages 4.3 yards per carry on his career and has completed about 59 percent of his passes in the same time span.

What it Means

In short, the Wallace signing does not mean much of anything. The longer answer is a bit more convultued.

Let’s get this out of the way first—No, the Saints are not thinking about joining the read-option craze that is sweeping the NFL currently. No, the coaching staff is not going to implement a read-option package with Wallace and take Brees out of the game at any point.

If the Saints draft a mobile quarterback, then we’ll talk about the read-option. A 32 year old Wallace is not enough to install that. Even signing free agent Vince Young wouldn’t be enough at this point.

With that out of the way, we can get to what the signing really means—New Orleans needed another camp body to allow Brees to rest while also pushing McCown for the No. 2 spot on the depth chart.

At most, Wallace beats out McCown as the honorary clipboard holder while Brees starts next year. Thanks to his experience, Wallace could orchestrate the offense well should Brees ever go down with an injury.

Any way you cut it, Wallace actually making the final roster is a long shot barring an injury. McCown already has experience in the system, which gives him a major advantage over Wallace from the start.

It’s a smart move for the Saints in every sense of the word. Wallace is cheap and has a plethora of experience the coaching staff can put to good use in more ways than one. There’s no risk, but Wallace’s contributions behind the scenes may be enough to justify the price.