May 10, 2013

Saints Ink Four Draft Picks On Eve of Rookie Camp

The Saints have inked four of their five 2013 draft picks on the eve of the opening of their rookie minicamp this weekend.

First round pick DB Kenny Vaccaro, third round pick OT Terron Armstead, fifth round pick WR Kenny Stills and sixth round pick DE/OLB Rufus Johnson signed their four-year rookie contracts as prescribed by the NFL's CBA.

Because he was a first round pick outside of the top ten selections, Vaccaro's contract includes a fifth-year team option, which is a one year deal for the average salary of the 3rd-25th players at his position. That option must be exercised after year three of the contract.

Third round pick NT John Jenkins remains the only Saint draft pick unsigned, though that deal is believed to be imminent. Because of the new CBA slotting draft pick contracts, no rookie holdouts are expected, breaking a longstanding trend in the NFL and especially for the Saints.

The Saints draft picks, undrafted rookie signings and a host of veterans on tryout will attend the Saints' rookie camp from Friday-Sunday this weekend.

Among the notables in Metairie for tryouts this weekend include undrafted rookies WR Duron Carter, son of Hall of Fame WR Cris Carter, former LSU K Josh Jasper, and former LSU DT Josh Downs.  Former Dolphins second round pick QB John Beck will join Jon Richt from Mars Hill College and previously-announced Ryan Griffin from Tulane as the camp arms for this weekend. Southern University products WR Charles Hawkins and DB Chantz Stevenson will work out at the camp. Other Louisiana school alumns include DB Malcolm Bronson from McNeese State, WR Brent Leonard and previously-signed TE Keavon Milton from ULM, Griffin's teammate long snapper Billy Johnson from Tulane, son of Saints' defensive line coach Bill Johnson.  Mexican national Carlos Maltos will work out as well, a kicker for the Tigres de la UANL, a professional American football club in Monterrey, Mexico.

Some returning veterans will also work out at the camp, including WR Saalim Hakim, who was promoted from the Saints' practice squad in December and spent two games on the 53-man roster, though inactive. Past Saint training camper WR Andy Tanner will practice with the rookies.  Veteran OL Quinn Ojinnaka will try out this weekend, a part-time starter at left guard for the Rams in 2012. Former Panthers fourth round pick OLB Eric Norwood, former Seahawks fourth round pick LB Baraka Atkins, will try out.

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