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Saints' Sean Payton on Jets RB Khiry Robinson: He'll surprise you

Khiry Robinson is the mystery man among the New York Jets' free-agent signings.

He played only 28 games for the New Orleans Saints, making the team in 2013 as an undrafted free agent from West Texas State. He wasn't a priority free agent; no, he had to audition at a rookie camp before receiving a contract offer. That's the lowest rung on the NFL ladder, but the 6-foot, 220-pound running back convinced the Saints he was worth a shot.

The Saints almost cut him, but their patience was rewarded. Coach Sean Payton suspects the same will happen with the Jets.

"He was borderline whether he went to (training) camp that first year," Payton said Wednesday at the NFL owners meetings in Boca Raton, Florida. "When the pads came on, though -- and I think you'll see the same transition -- you get a much different player than you thought you were getting. You thought you might be getting more of a scat back, someone who was fast in space, but I'd say he's an extremely physical type of runner."

Payton compared Robinson's physical style to that of Chris Ivory, another undrafted free agent; Ivory made the Saints' roster and was traded to the Jets in 2013. He gave the Jets three good seasons before moving on to the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jets would be tickled if Robinson comes anywhere near Ivory's production.

Robinson suffered a broken leg last season, which factored into the Saints' decision not to make him a tender offer as a restricted free agent. The Jets pounced, signing him to a modest, one-year contract.

"Khiry has versatility as a receiver," Payton added. "I know he's working on rehabbing the injury. You'll get some good stuff when he's ready to go."