- Mike Triplett, ESPN Staff Writer
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The New Orleans Saints have 13 players scheduled to become unrestricted free agents on March 11, plus the three players they released earlier this month. Here’s a breakdown on quarterback Luke McCown:
Position: backup QB
Scouting report: McCown is the living definition of a “career backup.” He has been in the NFL for 10 years, bouncing around with Cleveland, Tampa Bay, Jacksonville, Atlanta and New Orleans. But he has made only nine career starts, with a total of 2,035 passing yards, nine touchdown passes and 14 interceptions.
McCown has been impressive enough to keep finding steady work. He won the Saints’ No. 2 job last year after a solid preseason performance. The year before that, he was cut by the Saints after the preseason – but wound up signing with the Atlanta Falcons as their backup.
McCown hasn’t completed a pass since 2011, though. His only attempt last year came on a poorly executed fake field goal.
Projection: I could definitely see the Saints bringing McCown back to compete with second-year pro Ryan Griffin for the backup job this year. The Saints would probably like to see Griffin step up and earn the job after essentially “redshirting” Griffin last year. But they’ll surely want to have a veteran option available.
McCown makes perfect sense to fill that role. The Saints have obviously liked what they’ve seen from him the last two years. And he’s appeared to be a good fit in the locker room.
As for those who keep asking if this is the year for the Saints to invest an early- or mid-round draft pick on a future replacement for starter Drew Brees, I don’t think so. I think Brees can keep playing at a high level for at least three or four more years (if not longer). So a rookie this year would probably be an unrestricted free agent by the time the Saints need a replacement.