Saints bring back safety Jamarca Sanford

NEW ORLEANS – The New Orleans Saints agreed to a one-year contract with backup safety and special teamer Jamarca Sanford, according to a source.

Sanford’s deal was first reported by the NFL Network. Terms have not been disclosed, though he played under the veteran minimum salary benefit for the Saints last year.

Sanford’s return became even more important for the Saints when they lost No. 3 safety Rafael Bush to the Detroit Lions over the weekend. Sanford, 30, has been with the Saints since midway through the 2014 season, starting two games and appearing in 22 as a backup safety and core special teams player. He has 28 tackles and one interception with New Orleans.

Sanford saved his best for last in each of the past two seasons. Last year, his late interception set up a game-winning field goal in Week 17 against the Atlanta Falcons. And in 2014, he had 10 tackles in a Week 17 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Sanford will compete with safeties Vinnie Sunseri, Erik Harris and Alden Darby for roster spots behind starters Jairus Byrd and Kenny Vaccaro, though the Saints could potentially still add to the mix through free agency or the draft.

Sanford (5-foot-10, 200 pounds) began his career with the Minnesota Vikings (2009-2013), including three years as a starter. He has 297 career tackles with three interceptions and eight forced fumbles.

The Saints have now re-signed six of their 16 unrestricted free agents. Here's the list of notable offseason transactions so far:


TE Coby Fleener (Indianapolis Colts)

LB James Laurinaitis (Los Angeles Rams)

LB Nate Stupar (Atlanta Falcons)

K Josh Scobee (Pittsburgh Steelers)

RB Vick Ballard (Colts)

S Erik Harris (CFL)


QB Luke McCown

TE Michael Hoomanawanui

RB Travaris Cadet

S Jamarca Sanford

CB Kyle Wilson

K Kai Forbath

G Senio Kelemete (restricted free agent)

FB Austin Johnson (exclusive rights free agent)

Made qualifying offers to RFAs:

G Tim Lelito

TE Josh Hill


WR Marques Colston

G Jahri Evans

CB Brandon Browner

LB David Hawthorne

LB Ramon Humber (New England Patriots)


TE Benjamin Watson (Baltimore Ravens)

S Rafael Bush (Detroit Lions)

RB Khiry Robinson (New York Jets; not tendered as RFA)

Still unsigned:

RB Tim Hightower

DT Kevin Williams

LB James Anderson

CB Chris Owens

QB Matt Flynn

G Mike McGlynn

OT Tony Hills

RB Kendall Hunter