METAIRIE, La. — The New Orleans Saints dipped back into their past Wednesday, agreeing to a one-year deal with former backup quarterback Chase Daniel. Are they also looking toward their future with this move?
Signing Daniel won’t prevent the Saints from considering a quarterback in this year’s draft class. If the reunion works out, however, the 30-year-old could potentially become a candidate to one day replace Drew Brees.
At the very least, Daniel found a familiar landing spot for a year before looking for a starting gig on the open market again next year.
Terms: One year, according to ESPN’s Adam Caplan. Financial details were not immediately available.
ESPN 150 ranking: Unranked
Grade B: I assume the Saints aren’t spending big bucks here, so I have no problem with bringing in a quarterback they like and trust. Who knows? Maybe it could evolve into something bigger down the road. The only negative is that the Saints didn’t have an urgent need for a veteran backup, as Luke McCown has been such a good fit in that role for the last four years. I can’t imagine the Saints will keep both Daniel and McCown on the 53-man roster.
What it means: The Saints obviously like Daniel a lot. According to Caplan, they also made a push to bring him back last year before the Philadelphia Eagles offered a big contract and an opportunity to possibly start (which never materialized). So this move is probably bad news for McCown, and it’s not great for third-year pro Garrett Grayson, whose career in New Orleans was already on thin ice. I don’t think it will stop the Saints from taking a long, hard look at the top quarterback prospects in this year’s draft. Daniel could potentially be a replacement for Brees one day, but that is no sure thing. For one thing, he is only signing a one-year deal for now. Plus, the 6-foot, 225-pound Daniel has yet to prove that he can be a full-time starter in the NFL.
What’s the risk: There is very little risk in signing Daniel as a backup. The Saints know him very well after he spent four years growing up in their system from 2009 to 2012. He and Brees have a close relationship and have trained together in the offseason. Of course there would be some risk in the Saints anointing Daniel as their QB of the future and letting Brees go as a free agent next year — or ignoring the position in the draft. But they’re not locking themselves into any of those scenarios with this small investment.