Saints bring back Jay Richardson, waive Andy Tanner
The fifth-year pro Richardson initially joined the New Orleans Saint in the offseason, and was pressed into service with outside linebacker Martez Wilson and Junior Galette sidelined for extended period during camp. But the Saints decided to proceed on to the regular season with only three outside linebacker – Wilson, Gallette and Parys Haralson included – which resulted in Richardson’s release in the final roster cuts last month.
However, Saints coach Sean Payton told Richardson to look out for a call from the team if they needed more depth at outside linebacker or up front. Injuries to defensive linemen Tyrunn Walker (knee) and Brodrick Bunkley (calf) in Sunday’s 23-17 win over the Atlanta Falcons finally forced the Saints to make that call. The Sainst also held oustdei linebacker Martez Wilson (elbow) out of the game due to precautionary reasons. Richardson will now look to make the most of his second chance with the team.
While Richardson can play both defensive end and outside linebacker, Payton said he sees him more as an outside linebacker in their 3-4 defense. Payton believed Richardson could get majority of the snaps at the spot.
"He's very smart, he's someone that's a quick study and knows a lot of different positions. I thought he, in training camp, did a lot of good things,” Payton said. “That's why specifically in my discussions with him when training camp ended was that there's a good chance we ended up signing (him) back. It happened quicker than expected."
However, Richardson has not played an NFL regular season since 2010. He sent the entire 2011 out of football, but competed in training camp for the Jets during 2012, before being released in the final roster cuts.
The former fifth-rounder originally entered the league with the Oakland Raiders in 2007. After three-years in Oakland, Richardson moved on to Seattle and spent a season there. He was not re-signed by the Seahawks at the end of the 2010 season.
For his career, Richardson has amassed 117 tackles and seven sacks in 55 career games.
As for Tanner, he had an impressive season with the Saints, which led him to making his first NFL roster. Tanner finished the 2013 preseason with six catches for 92 yards and two touchdowns. He had managed to cling on to the Saints’ practice squad since coming undrafted out of Midwestern State in 2010.