METAIRIE, La. -- After starting out as Eli Manning's understudy with the New York Giants, quarterback Ryan Nassib will now try to revive his NFL career as a developmental backup behind Drew Brees and Chase Daniel with the New Orleans Saints.
Nassib, 27, signed a deal with the Saints and was on the practice field Tuesday as they kicked off their three-day veteran minicamp.
Nassib will compete with third-year pro Garrett Grayson for that No. 3 developmental QB job in New Orleans. Or the Saints could just decide to go with two quarterbacks on the 53-man roster this year, as they have done often in the past.
"He’s someone we liked coming out of the draft," Saints coach Sean Payton said of Nassib, who was drafted in the fourth round out of Syracuse in 2013. "We had a pretty strong opinion of him when he was in college. Thought he was a good decision-maker. He played for [former Saints offensive coordinator Doug Marrone], of course, at Syracuse. When he was in the games, you saw him move the ball, even in preseason tape when you watch him in New York. He knows where to go with it. He’s a guy that picks things up pretty quickly.
"This is his first practice, really, so there’s a lot that he’s catching up on. But he’s getting a crash course."
This will be an important summer for Nassib, whose potential fizzled in New York before he was placed on injured reserve with a shoulder injury last December and wasn’t re-signed as a free agent this year. Payton said the Saints had to wait for the injury rehab before he was able to work out for them last week. The 6-foot-2, 223-pounder also worked out recently with the Dallas Cowboys.
Nassib appeared in five games with no starts -- all between 2014-15. He completed 9 of 10 passes for 128 yards, with one touchdown and no interceptions.
He struggled mightily last preseason, completing just 31 of his 75 pass attempts (41 percent) for 379 yards, with three touchdowns, three interceptions and nine sacks. The Giants moved on with veterans Josh Johnson and Geno Smith as backup options, then they drafted QB Davis Webb in the third round.
The Saints have been kicking the tires on young quarterbacks in recent years, drafting Grayson in the third round in 2015, then briefly signing undrafted rookie Joe Callahan during last season, then almost drafting Patrick Mahomes II in the first round of this year’s draft. But so far, they haven’t forced themselves to find Brees’ future successor since he is still thriving at age 38.
Brees and Daniel, 30, are both scheduled to be free agents after this season. But the Saints will likely extend Brees at some point, either this summer or after the season, unless they decide a total rebuild is in order.