May 23, 2006

Saints Ink WR Thompson to One-Year Deal

Free agent tryout Thompson joins a stacked depth chart

Free agent Derrius Thompson has a history of fighting his way onto teams. His newest challenge will be with the Saints, where Thompson has signed a one-year, $585k deal to join a stacked Saints depth chart.

The Saints depth chart features four-time Pro Bowler Joe Horn, former first-round pick Donte Stallworth, former second-round pick Devery Henderson and return specialist Michael Lewis. The roster also includes free agent addition Chris Horn, 2005 free agent signee Nate Poole who is coming off of a knee injury, a pair of draft picks in Mike Hass and Marques Colston, and a host of other receivers from the street.

Thompson joins the team as the 13th receiver on the roster that in Week 1 will likely carry four or five, possibly six. But Thompson, who made the roster of the Washington Redskins as an undrafted rookie out of Baylor. As a second year starter Thompson caught 53 balls for 773 yards and four touchdowns and parlayed the experience into a new contract with the Miami Dolphins, where he played for a dissappointing two years.

The 6'2, 220 pound receiver is best as a vertical deep threat, although he has shown flashes of using his big frame as a possession receiver. For all his talent though, he was inconsistent and unproductive in Miami, and lost his 2005 season to a hamstring injury. The Dolphins waived him with an injury settlement in training camp 2005 and he missed the season, out of football. He was already plummeting on Nick Saban's depth chart before his injury.

Thompson arrives after trying out with the Saints during their post-draft minicamp that featured rookies, first-year players and street free agents. Thompson was one of several players now that have been signed as a result of trying out with the team.

The Saints also reportedly have signed rookie free agent QB Joel Klatt from Colorado. The 6'1, 210 pound quarterback was a walk-on who ended up starting three seasons. FB Nate Schurman was also released.

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