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New Orleans Saints Sign Joey Harrington: A Surprising Move?

Bleacher ReportAnalyst ISeptember 19, 2008

Earlier today, the New Orleans Saints signed quarterback Joey Harrington in what many believe is a surprising move considering they acquired veteran quarterback Mark Brunell earlier this year from the Washington Redskins.

There has been talk that the Saints may trade Brunell for a defensive player, but that would be unlikely to happen because Brunell is 38 years old and not many teams would trade a halfway decent defensive player for the aging quarterback.

The reason for the signing is this can be explained very easily. The Saints started training camp with three quarterbacks, Drew Brees, Brunell, and Tyler Palko. The Saints cut Palko to make the roster requirements; it wasn't a surprising cut because Palko hadn't performed up to par during the preseason.

The team then used backup wide receiver and special teamer Terrance Copper as its "emergency quarterback" in case that both quarterbacks suffered injuries before the team was able to sign another reserve quarterback. Copper is now out with a pulled hamstring, so, to me, the signing makes perfect sense.

"Joey is a guy that we've kept our eye on," head coach Sean Payton said. "With Terrance out this week, we addressed that and felt like the timing was right in bringing Joey in here now. He's a guy that we thought played pretty well for Atlanta last year on tape. He has ability. It's a good opportunity for him to come in here under guys like Brees and Brunell, learn our system, and for us to get a chance to develop and work with him."

Harrington was drafted third overall by the Detroit Lions in 2002; he most recently played for the Miami Dolphins and the Atlanta Falcons. The Saints cut newly signed defensive tackle Alvin McKinley to make room on the roster for Harrington.

As for me, I expect Harrington to be released as soon as Copper is back to 100 percent, but you never know. If Harrington does really well, the Saints may just keep Harrington and forget all about Tyler Palko.

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