Aug 28, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans running back Toben Opurum (42) stiff arms San Francisco 49ers tackle Fou Fonoti (64) during the game at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Yesterday was the first day that teams were permitted to sign free agents, and the New Orleans Saints wasted little time in building up some of the future for the 2015 roster.
The team announced the signings of seven players to reserve/future contracts: Kicker Dustin Hopkins, tight end Orson Charles, guard Andrew Miller, wide receiver Willie Snead, runnings backs Edwin Baker and Toben Opurum, and center Michael Brewster.
Reserve/future contracts only apply to players who weren’t on active rosters when the season ends, and only these players are eligible for these types of contracts. So, that’s primarily practice squad players that the teams sign to these type of deals. It helps fill the training camp roster, and ultimately prevents other teams from snatching away these protected players. Players signed between now and the actual start of free agency are signed for a season that hasn’t started.
Missing from this list is the Saints 2013 sixth-round draft pick out of Kansas State, offensive tackle Tavon Rooks. Rooks was labeled a project when coming onboard from the draft, and was heralded as a potential replacement to right tackle Zach Strief. While he needs work, a reserve/future contract does not necessarily mean that the Saints don’t have plans for Rooks.
Sean Payton spoke highly of Rooks when drafting him, speaking highly of his “real good feet and real good athleticism“. Payton also added that they see him “exclusively” as a right tackle.
Fans might remember running back Edwin Baker, who appeared in three games for the black and gold because of injuries to Khiry Robinson and Pierre Thomas.
Free Agency will not start until March 10th.
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