Saints re-sign Robert Meachem

Updated: April 18, 2014, 7:18 PM ET
By Mike Triplett | ESPN.com

The New Orleans Saints announced Friday that they have re-signed veteran receiver Robert Meachem to a one-year deal. Terms were not disclosed.

[+] EnlargeRobert Meachem
AP Photo/Bill HaberRobert Meachem, whose average of 20.3 yards a catch would have led the NFL had he enough catches to qualify, signed a one-year deal to remain a Saint.

Meachem, 29, adds some security to the Saints' receiving corps behind returning starters Marques Colston and Kenny Stills.

The Saints became thin at the position when they released veteran Lance Moore earlier this offseason. Now, Meachem and young backups Joe Morgan, Nick Toon and Andy Tanner will compete for roles.

The Saints could also add a receiver in a draft class that is stacked with talent at the position.

Meachem (6-foot-2, 215 pounds) has been a valued backup for the Saints for most of his seven-year career. They use him as a deep threat to stretch the field and also in their heavy run sets because he's a standout blocker -- his most underrated skill set.

Last year, Meachem caught just 16 passes in the regular season but he gained a total of 324 yards. His average of 20.3 yards per catch would have led the league if he had enough catches to qualify. Meachem caught another three passes for 109 yards in the playoffs.

Meachem obviously fits best in that type of role in the Saints' offense. A former first-round pick out of Tennessee in 2007, he emerged as a big-play specialist for the Saints from 2008 to 2011. But he then flamed out with the San Diego Chargers after signing a lucrative free-agent deal in 2012 to become more of a No. 1 receiver.

He struggled mightily in San Diego and was released after the 2013 preseason. The Saints then quickly snatched him back up a week later.

Meachem has 171 catches for 2,800 yards and 27 touchdowns in his regular-season career.

Mike Triplett

ESPN New Orleans Saints reporter

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