Veteran RB Tim Hightower quietly making his case for job with the New Orleans Saints


In more of a low-key offseason acquisition, the New Orleans Saints were able to wrangle up a veteran running back in Tim Hightower after signing him to a future deal in early January.

The Saints are currently stacked in the backfield.  In fact, currently has them ranked as the No. 4 unit in the league for the upcoming 2015 season.

With Mark Ingram emerging as a ground-and-pound specialist, the high-profile signing of C.J. Spiller, an excellent backup in the tough Khiry Robinson, and a promising young all-purpose back in seventh-round pick Marcus Murphy, there is a ton for Saints fans to be excited about.

But it’s Tim Hightower who really stood out to me at minicamp Tuesday afternoon after taking reps with the first team.  He looked fluid, displaying his quick feet and excellent change of direction.  His most impressive play came when he brushed by defenders and then tightroped down the sideline for a big gain.

Of course it’s only minicamp, which means no pads and no hitting.  However, if he continues the show, there could be a bit more difficulty determining the final roster in the running back category.  For now, Ingram, Spiller and Robinson are all locks.  But after that, with six running backs currently on the roster (Edwin Baker also included), the competition will be one to watch.

Hightower was drafted in the fifth round of the 2008 NFL Draft, spending the majority of his career with the Arizona Cardinals until 2010 before being traded to Washington Redskins in 2011.  He started the first five games, but suffered a season-ending knee injury.  After a year in the Nation’s Capital, he was expected to compete for the starting job in 2012.  However, he was cut that summer.

Tim Hightower did not play in NFL from 2012-2014, sitting around as a free agent for three years.  His last game on a football field came for the Blacktips of the Fall Experimental Football League in 2014.

Facing a ton of adversity, it’s been an interesting journey back to the NFL for Tim Hightower.  There’s no telling whether he’ll make the final cut or not.  But if he continues to make plays, Saints head coach Sean Payton’s job will certainly be much tougher when the time comes to trim down the roster to 53 men.

Tim Hightower is definitely one of several veterans to root for as summer practices progress.  He even said he wants to be a key contributor in 2015, so he’ll look to continue to run hard while making his case for a job down on the bayou.

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