July 28, 2010

With Brunell to New York, Ramsey signs in New Orleans

One veteran quarterback has left New Orleans.  Another has returned home.

The Saints' backup quarterback the past two seasons, Mark Brunell, who will be 40 in September, has signed with the New York Jets.

A journeyman former first-round pick out of Tulane University, Patrick Ramsey, has taken his place, returning to his home state and his college stadium.

It is perhaps more than a coincidence that the Saints waited for Brunell to sign in New York before inking Ramsey.  Both the Saints and Jets were bound by the CBA Final League Year rules, which prohibited them from signing extra free agents before the start of training camps in the NFL, a rule that was lifted from the teams last Thursday.

Brunell started one game for the Saints, when Drew Brees and many starters sat out of the Week 17 matchup against the Panthers.  He did not throw a regular season touchdown as a Saint. He joins the Jets where he will be understudy second year QB Mark Sanchez.

Ramsey, the Ruston, La. native who re-wrote much of Tulane's passing record book, is the heir to Brunell as the clip-board holder behind Drew Brees in the Saints offense.  He has played for five NFL teams. The 32nd overall pick by the Redskins in 2002, Ramsey entered the NFL in Steve Spurrier's offense and was doomed to failure.

In his third season, Joe Gibbs acquired Mark Brunell to be his starter, and for the next two seasons Brunell and Ramsey rotated in and out of the job. Ramsey would eventually be traded to the Jets for a low round draft pick in 2006, but lasted only one season and bounced then to Denver, Tennessee and most recently, a week as a Detroit Lion.

Ramsey seems a near-lock to win the #2 job behind Brees, facing competition only from seventh round pick Sean Canfield and second year undrafted free agent Chase Daniel.  Daniel bounced on and off the Saints active roster and practice squad last season after going to camp with the Redskins.

Of the four quarterbacks now on the roster, only one has ever been to a training camp with the Saints.  It is not out of the realm of possibility that the Saints add another veteran quarterback.

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