Saints Sign QB Jake Luton, Release WR Tre’Quan Smith From IR

The Saints are adding some much-needed depth at the quarterback position. According to ESPN’s Field Yates, New Orleans is signing quarterback Jake Luton off the Panthers practice squad.

[RELATED: Saints’ Derek Carr Suffers AC Joint Sprain]

Luton spent most of the 2022 campaign on the Saints’ practice squad, so he’s plenty familiar with Pete Carmichael’s system. Luton was waived by New Orleans back in May and caught on with the Panthers. He was among the team’s final cuts but eventually signed on with Carolina’s practice squad.

The former sixth-round pick has turned into a true journeyman despite being in the league for only three-plus seasons. Luton has spent time with the Jaguars (two stints), Seahawks, Dolphins, Saints, and Panthers. The quarterback’s resume consists of three starts with Jacksonville as a rookie. The Jaguars went 0-3 in those three contests, with Luton completing 54.5 percent of his passes for 624 yards, two touchdowns, and six interceptions.

While the Saints “dodged a bullet” when it came to Derek Carr‘s injury on Sunday, the quarterback is still expected to miss some time with a AC joint sprain. Carr has been deemed week-to-week, although he hasn’t officially been ruled out for Week 4. With rookie fourth-round pick Jake Haener still serving a suspension for failing a drug test, Jameis Winston was the only healthy QB on the Saints roster before today’s move.

The team wasn’t done making moves today. According to Nick Underhill of NewOrleans.Football, the Saints have released wide receiver Tre’Quan Smith from injured reserve. The former third-round pick was a productive member of New Orleans’ receivers room for five seasons, hauling in 131 receptions for 1,764 yards and 18 touchdowns. He also got into four playoff games, collecting another two scores.

Smith inked a two-year, $6MM extension with the Saints prior to the 2022 season, but with Chris Olave and Rashid Shaheed stealing snaps, Smith had one of the least productive seasons of his career, finishing with 19 catches for 278 yards. Smith landed on injured reserve after final cuts, meaning he only needed one more week before he could be activated. Ultimately, it sounds like the Saints didn’t see a future for him in New Orleans, and the receiver is now free to sign (and immediately play) elsewhere.

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