J.T. Barrett Reportedly Will Sign Undrafted Free-Agent Contract with Saints

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMay 1, 2018

Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett practices during the Cincinnati Bengals NFL football team pre-draft workouts with local players from the surrounding region, Tuesday, April 17, 2018, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
John Minchillo/Associated Press

Former Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett will sign an undrafted free-agent contract with the New Orleans Saints, according to a Tuesday report by NFL Network's Mike Garafolo.

Garafolo added that Barrett opted to sign with the Saints despite a tryout offer from the Indianapolis Colts and interest from other teams.

Barrett will join a quarterback group headed by 39-year-old starter Drew Brees. Tom Savage, who started seven games for the Houston Texas in 2017, is the likely backup, while Taysom Hill is the incumbent No. 3 option.

Hill may have the upper hand on Barrett if New Orleans decides to keep three quarterbacks, since he was with the Saints last season and contributed down the stretch on special teams.

Barrett has a strong college resume, however, with several career Big Ten records to his credit, including most passing touchdowns (104), most total touchdowns (147) and most total offensive yards (12,697).

He is also Ohio State's all-time leading passer with 9,434 yards.

As a senior in 2017, Barrett enjoyed his best statistical season with 3,053 passing yards, 35 touchdowns and nine interceptions while rushing for 798 yards and 12 scores.

The three-time All-Big Ten first-team selection and one-time national champion also completed a career-best 64.7 percent of his passes last season.

Even so, questions about his accuracy and arm strength persisted leading up to last week's draft at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Thirteen quarterbacks were selected in the 2018 class, including several who accomplished nowhere near what Barrett did in college, such as LSU's Danny Etling (No. 219) and Florida International's Alex McGough (No. 220).

Barrett is a developmental prospect with plenty of areas that need refinement, but New Orleans presents a solid opportunity to stick as a third quarterback or a practice-squad player.

Plus, with Brees likely nearing the closing years of his career, the Saints will soon be in the market for someone to take over his starting spot. 

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