But Grayson’s arrival will almost certainly force the exit of one of New Orleans’ incumbent backups -- veteran Luke McCown or third-year pro Ryan Griffin -- which means they will be in a winner-take-all battle for the No. 2 job this preseason.
The Quarterbacks are up next in my position-by-position look at the Saints’ roster battles leading up to the start of training camp. Players report to The Greenbrier resort in West Virginia on July 29, with the first practice July 30.
53-man roster projection: Brees, McCown, Grayson
Missing the cut: Griffin
Analysis: I went with McCown, but only by the narrowest of margins. He and Griffin were neck and neck last summer in practices and preseason games. But the Saints ultimately decided to go with the more experienced, reliable veteran. So I’ll predict a repeat this year unless Griffin can clearly outshine him.
McCown, 34, is heading into his 12th season (spent with five different teams). He only has nine career starts, but his experience is still valued. One of his hidden assets is the way he mentors young players on the field. Grayson talked this summer about the valuable advice McCown gave him, and I’ve seen McCown chase down young receivers after routes in practice to offer pointers. etc.
Griffin’s edge would be youth and potential. But the third-year undrafted pro from Tulane lost his status as the Saints’ developmental quarterback when they drafted Grayson. So the 25-year-old will have to win the No. 2 job to stick around.
Griffin gave it a great run last preseason, completing 48-of-77 passes for 530 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. He should be even better after another year of seasoning.
Grayson, 24, could presumably enter the battle for the No. 2 job himself this summer if he picks up his new playbook quickly and dazzles in preseason games. But it’s much more likely he’ll watch and learn as the No. 3 QB.