METAIRIE, La. -- The New Orleans Saints re-signed quarterback Ryan Griffin to their practice squad Wednesday after he passed through waivers, according to a league source. It's unclear who the team will release to make room.
Although coach Sean Payton denied it Wednesday, it certainly appears as though the Saints strategically waited three extra days before waiving Griffin to try and keep him from being signed by other QB-needy teams.
The St. Louis Rams, for instance, claimed young quarterback Case Keenum off waivers Monday from the Houston Texans. And you can't help but wonder if the Rams might have claimed Griffin instead if he was available. The Rams tried to sign Griffin off the Saints' practice squad during the middle of last season. But the Saints signed him to their own 53-man roster instead to keep him in New Orleans.
“More than anything else, it was about when we were able to do a couple of these transactions,” Payton said -- also referring to the Saints' decisions to release and re-sign veteran kicker Shayne Graham and receiver Robert Meachem during the week. That bought them time to waive Griffin on Tuesday and to place rookie linebacker Khairi Fortt on short-term injured reserve Wednesday.
"You don't go in thinking, 'Hey, strategically we are going to try and release [Griffin] at a certain time or waive him at a certain time," Payton said. "It's really about getting these guys ready to practice with the schedule we have, and so some of it pertains to that."
Although Griffin may have been a victim of the business side of the NFL in this case, it still appears as though New Orleans is a good long-term fit for him. The second-year pro from Tulane had a strong preseason performance and gave veteran Luke McCown a good run for the backup job.
If the Saints can keep Griffin away from other potential suitors, he should have a great shot at New Orleans' backup job again next summer.