Saints sign TE Beckum after Quinn retires

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. – The New Orleans Saints signed veteran tight end Travis Beckum on Wednesday to fill the spot that was vacated when tight end Richard Quinn retired Monday.

Beckum, 27, spent his first four seasons with the New York Giants after being drafted in the third round out of Wisconsin in 2009. He hasn’t found a permanent home, however, since he tore his ACL during Super Bowl XLVI.

The 6-foot-3, 234-pound Beckum has 26 career receptions for 264 yards and three touchdowns, plus another seven catches for 45 yards in four playoff games. He was with the Seattle Seahawks this past spring before being released in May.

Quinn had been with the Saints for less than a week before he decided to retire. The 27-year-old was a second-round draft pick of the Denver Broncos in 2009 who never panned out while bouncing around with Denver, the Washington Redskins (twice), Cincinnati Bengals and Arizona Cardinals.

“He came and saw me and just felt like it was time, that he didn’t want to play,” Saints coach Sean Payton said. “It was a little bit of a surprise, but that happens at times. He’s been five years now, and he just didn’t want to play anymore. …

“That would be not unusual at training camp. Look, to compete and to play this game, there’s a physical element, but just as importantly there’s a mental element. And if your heart’s not in it, it’s awfully hard to do this job.”