A familiar name is getting another shot with the New Orleans Saints. The team reported a reserve/future contract with free agent wide receiver Jalen McCleskey on Tuesday’s update to the daily NFL transactions wire, meaning he’ll count towards their 90-man roster for 2022 after Super Bowl XLVI in a few weeks just like the small crowd of practice squad players the team retained once their 2021 season ended.
McCleskey signed with the Saints last summer following rookie minicamps and made a quick impression in training camp with his rare speed. He put his 4.3-second time in the 40-yard dash to good use in college at Oklahoma State and Tulane, but a hamstring injury sidelined him for much of the 2021 season. Despite trying out for the Saints in November, he’s remained a free agent waiting for his next opportunity.
Now he’s joining the depth chart for 2022 along with Michael Thomas, Marquez Callaway, Easop Winston Jr., Kevin White, and 2021 draft pick Kawaan Baker. Saints free agents at wide receiver include Deonte Harty and Lil’Jordan Humphrey (both restricted), as well as Tre’Quan Smith, Ty Montgomery, and Kenny Stills (all unrestricted). Expect more additions in the months ahead.
The team has been busy evaluating free agents from the CFL like tight end Nikola Kalinic and offensive linemen Drew Desjarlais and Jordan Murray, as well as former North Carolina Central basketball forward-turned-tight end Jibri Blount. They’re all eligible to sign reserve/future contracts…