We’ll summarize the moves first and then we’ll analyze them. The Saints signed running back Julius Jones and safety Matt Giordano while releasing kicker John Carney and waiving running back DeShawn Wynn.
The Jones signing easily is the biggest of the moves. The Saints have struggled with running backs Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush sidelined in recent weeks. They’ve been using veteran Ladell Betts and rookie Chris Ivory, but haven’t gotten a lot of production. Jones is a veteran and is in his seventh season. He played for the Cowboys from 2004 to 2007, before landing with Seattle. Jones has started 75 of his career 85 games and rushed for 4,875 yards and 22 touchdowns on 1,232 carries. He’s the kind of player who could move ahead of Betts and Ivory very quickly and still fill a role when Bush and Thomas return.
The release of Carney is a sign the Saints are ready to turn their kicking duties back to Garrett Hartley. The Saints signed Carney, 46, after Hartley missed an easy field-goal attempt in an overtime loss to Atlanta. The Saints said they were bringing in Carney to help Hartley get his accuracy back.
Giordano also fills a need at a spot where injuries have been prevalent. Safeties Roman Harper and Pierson Prioleau have missed time with injuries and Chris Reis is out for the season. A sixth-year player, Giordano has spent time with the Colts and Packers and was in Atlanta’s training camp this year. He’s played only sparingly in the secondary, but has played extensively on special teams, which means he could fill Reis’ role.
The Saints also tweaked their practice squad a bit. They signed cornerback Reggie Jones, who was with the team previously, and released linebacker Harry Coleman.