September 2, 2012

Saints Claim CB Murphy; Release CB Mack

The Saints have made their second transaction of the day to change out depth in the secondary.  The Saints claimed CB Jerome Murphy on waivers from the St. Louis Rams and released free agent signee CB Elbert Mack.

Earlier, they claimed S Rafael Bush and waived Jonathon Amaya at the same position.

Murphy, 6'0, 196, is a familiar commodity to defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, as Murphy was a third round pick of the Rams in 2010 and coached by Spagnuolo in St. Louis for two seasons.  He was the 65th overall selection in the draft by the Rams out of South Florida after running a 4.50 40 at the NFL scouting combine with a 38" vertical jump.  He was a three-year starter at USF and played both corner and safety.

Murphy lost his 2011 season to an ankle injury that landed him on injured reserve. He had surgery to repair the fractured ankle in August 2011.  As a rookie he played in productive 14 games, recording 30 tackles, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery on special teams, one interception, and three passes defensed.  He forced and recovered that fumble on special teams, where he was a standout.  In four preseason games this season, he recorded 10 total tackles.

Murphy was thought to be a lock to make the team this season, but Murphy was a pick from the prior regime and was cut by Jeff Fisher in favor of a whopping five of his own rookie defensive backs on their current 53-man roster.  Murphy had been given a shot at the starting nickelback job in St. Louis.

By claiming Murphy, the Saints inherit his four-year, $2.728 million rookie contract with two years remaining on it.  He is due $490,000 in base salary this year and $575,000 next year.

Mack was a former Tampa Bay Buc who was added by the Saints this offseason.  He played in four of five preseason games in 2012 for the Saints, recording six tackles and four passes defensed.  2012 fifth round pick Corey White and 2011 third round pick Johnny Patrick won roster spots above Mack behind starters Jabari Greer and Patrick Robinson.

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