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Friday, February 14, 2014
Saints re-sign K Graham, OL Harris

By Mike Triplett

The New Orleans Saints have re-signed veteran kicker Shayne Graham, his agent, Camron Hahn, confirmed. And they appear to have re-signed young offensive tackle Bryce Harris.

They both popped up with new salaries listed Friday on the NFL Players Association website.

Graham, who was scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent next month, is listed with a salary of $955,000. Harris, an exclusive rights free agent, is listed with a salary of $570,000.

I think both players could wind up playing key roles for the Saints in 2014.

As I’ve written before, I think Graham appears to be a great fit with the Saints – even though his brief audition last season ended in disappointing fashion with two missed field goals in the playoff loss at Seattle.

Both of those misses, from 45 and 48 yards, came against the wind in some tough weather conditions. Before that, Graham was a perfect 6-for-6 with the Saints – including 4-for-4 in a 26-24 playoff victory at Philadelphia one week earlier.

For some reason, Graham, 36, has been struggling to find consistent work in the NFL over the past four years, even though he continues to produce almost everywhere he lands. He was clutch for the Houston Texans in the playoffs two years ago, as well.

And I think Graham carried himself with great poise and confidence during the month he was in New Orleans. He has made 85.5 percent of his regular-season field goals in a 13-year career spent primarily with the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Saints went looking for a new kicker in December after parting ways with Garrett Hartley, whose six-year tenure was a roller coaster filled with some extreme highs and lows – and ultimately too much inconsistency.

Graham will compete with young kicker Derek Dimke, whom the Saints signed to a futures contract last month, among any other possible candidates the Saints might consider down the road.

As for Harris, his re-signing was a no-brainer. The 25-year-old, 6-foot-6, 300-pounder has shown some nice potential over the past two years as a backup lineman/jumbo tight end, making two spot starts. If the Saints don’t re-sign unrestricted free-agent veteran Zach Strief, I see Harris as a strong possibility to win the starting job at right tackle.

Earlier Friday we also reported that the Saints re-signed backup cornerback Trevin Wade as an exclusive rights free agent.