New Orleans Saints bolster their secondary with XFL signing

(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Saints added depth to their secondary with the signing of XFL cornerback Deatrick Nichols. He led the XFL in interceptions during their shortened season.

Following the signing of former Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins and bringing back safety D.J. Swearinger for another year, the New Orleans Saints reach down to the XFL ranks and sign cornerback Deatrick Nichols from the Houston Roughnecks.

The story was first reported by his agent.

Nichols was drafted to the XFL’s Houston Roughnecks in 2019 were he shined in the shortened season.

Before the league had to forgo the remaining season due to the coronavirus outbreak, Nichols recorded 24 tackles, a sack, and an XFL-leading 3 interceptions for the first place leading Roughnecks.

A brief highlight video can be found below.

Nichols does have previous NFL experience as he spent the 2018 season with the Arizona Cardinals. He flipped back and forth from their practice squad and their active roster, appearing in 2 games that season. He was later cut at the end of that season.

How Nichols fits with this roster remains to be seen. Giving his limited NFL experience, one would think Nichols will not be counted on to play extensively right away. He does however provided a little youth in the backfield that is riddled with veterans.

At 25, the youthful energy he could bring to pair with another young cornerback in Marshon Lattimore, 23, would be a good mesh against some of the older players like Janoris Jenkins, Patrick Robinson, and the aforementioned Swearinger.

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While this may not be a splash signing for the New Orleans Saints, adding quality depth at a key position may afford them the opportunity to use the draft on a higher priority position (linebacker comes to mind), and in doing so may find a diamond in the rough in the process.