Sean Payton Praises 'Extremely Smart' Kenny Stills After WR Officially Joins Saints

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 15, 2021

Houston Texans wide receiver Kenny Stills takes up his position during the second half of an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith

The New Orleans Saints announced they have signed veteran receiver Kenny Stills to the practice squad.

"He's extremely smart," head coach Sean Payton said of Stills. "A really good transitional player. He will bring to our group a few things that I think he does really well."

Stills teased the signing Tuesday on his Twitter account:

Kenny Stills @KSTiLLS

We back ⚜️🤩

The 29-year-old spent the past two years with the Houston Texans but finished 2020 with just 11 catches for 144 yards in 10 games.

Despite last season's struggles, Stills averaged 671 yards per season during the first seven years of his career with an impressive 15.7 yards per reception.

The 2013 fifth-round pick began his career with New Orleans, leading the NFL with 20 yards per catch as a rookie. He led the team with 931 receiving yards in 2014, which ended up being a career high. 

Though he was traded to the Miami Dolphins in 2015, Stills now gets a chance to reunite with Payton while trying to get his career back on track.

Receiving depth is also valuable for the Saints, even after a dominant 38-3 win over the Green Bay Packers in Week 1. Jameis Winston threw five touchdown passes in Sunday's victory, although no receiver was targeted more than twice.

With Michael Thomas sidelined with an ankle injury and Tre'Quan Smith placed on injured reserve with a hamstring issue, an experienced player like Stills could be a key addition for this offense.