The Saints have signed journeyman veteran free agent quarterback Luke McCown, doubling the number of quarterbacks on the roster.
The team typically carries only 2 quarterbacks on the 53-man roster during the season, counting on Brees' traditional reliability and durability. In training camp, they will bring 3-4 quarterbacks for preseason games and to serve as "camp arms". But after losing backup Chase Daniel to free agency, the team had no quarterbacks on the roster aside from Brees. The first day of the Saints' offseason workout program is April 15, and it would be pretty lonely for Brees in position meetings.
McCown, 31, had been with the Saints in preseason 2012, playing in the third quarter of a week two snoozer preseason game in New England. The Saints cut him at the end of August. McCown spent the 2012 season as backup to Falcons QB Matt Ryan, but did not attempt a pass.
A product of Louisiana Tech and a native of Jacksonville, TX, McCown was originally a fourth round pick in the 2004 draft by the Browns. But he has started only 9 games since, spread over three seasons and teams. In 21 game appearances, 10 have been in December, when he was closing out a season for a team with an injured quarterback.
McCown surprisingly beat the Saints in December 2007, when he had his best game ever, completing 29/37 passes for 313 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in a 27-23 win in the Superdome. McCown was subbing the final five games of the regular season in place of injured Bucs starter Jeff Garcia.
The Saints worked out Luke's older brother Josh in 2010, but did not sign him. Both have been journeymen in the NFL and never have settled into a team or a starting role.