To make room, the Saints released guard Eric Olsen. No other moves were announced, but the Saints will have to open up at least one more spot on the 53-man roster.
The Saints appeared to be targeting a veteran safety since they worked out three of them before signing Sanford, according to ESPN NFL Insider Field Yates. The Saints also worked out veteran safeties Kenny Phillips and MD Jennings.
It's possible the Saints might be seeking depth at the position after rookie safety/special teamer Vinnie Sunseri suffered an arm injury during last Sunday's game against the San Francisco 49ers. But the severity of Sunseri's injury is unknown.
Sanford, 29, would fit that bill since he's both an experienced former starter and a special teams standout. He's 5-foot-10, 200-pounds and spent five years with the Minnesota Vikings, starting from 2011-2013, before being released due to a series of nagging injuries this summer. He then spent three games with the Washington Redskins last month.
Sanford, a seventh-round draft pick out of Ole Miss in 2009, has 269 career tackles, with two interceptions, eight forced fumbles and one sack.
The Saints also worked out several veteran running backs, according to Yates: Andre Brown, Tim Hightower, Brian Leonard and Mike LeShoure.
That doesn't automatically mean the Saints will sign one of them, since teams often work out players in groups to update their “ready lists.” But the Saints are thin at running back with Khiry Robinson (arm), Pierre Thomas (shoulder/ribs) and now Edwin Baker (concussion this past Sunday) nursing injuries.