April 8, 2010

Notes: Saints looking to upgrade from Brunell

Saints backup quarterback Mark Brunell played adequately in his relief stint of Drew Brees in the meaningless regular season finale. If not for that game, he wouldn't have been needed all season.

With Brunell, 39, an unrestricted free agent visiting the Jets, the Saints are looking for backup veterans at the quarterback position who will - hopefully - never play a down.

Former Tulane quarterback and first round pick of the Redskins Patrick Ramsey joined journeyman Josh McCown in Metairie for a workout.

Behind Brees, the only quarterback currently under contract is second year, undrafted Chase Daniel, who didn't make the Redskins squad he signed with after the draft last year. The Saints gave up on Tyler Palko after the 2009 preseason and signed Daniel, who was on the practice squad during the Saints' Super Bowl XLIV run.

Ramsey, one of the most decorated quarterbacks in Tulane history, 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.

McCown, older brother of Buccaneers quarterback Luke McCown, also entered the league in 2002 with high hopes, and has also hopped around to five teams. Josh McCown is a workout warrior, and at 6'4", 215 has everything needed to be a pro quarterback. His career, with only one season as a full-time starter, has been plagued by made mistakes and unwise improvisation.

Brown's contract: The newest Saint, DE Alex Brown, arrives in New Orleans with a two year contract worth $5.5 million. That's about what Brown had been due in 2010 alone when the Bears cut him.

Workouts begin soon: The Saints begin their offseason conditioning program on April 19, the week of the NFL Draft.

Saints license plate: For a $25 fee, you may soon be able to sport a New Orleans Saints Louisiana license plate. Senate Bill 506 has cleared committee and, having already been approved by the House, could be law before the draft. The bill also creates a Zulu Mardi Gras license plate.

Draft visits: Online reports indicate that the Saints have also visited with the following prospects: Ohio State DE/LB Thaddeus Gibson, Florida DE Carlos Dunlap, Stilman College LB Junior Galette.

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