The Saints have swapped one veteran running back for another. Coach Sean Payton announced today that the team has signed Jacquizz Rodgers and waived Rob Kelley (via The Athletic’s Larry Holder on Twitter).
Rodgers, 29, spent the past three seasons with the Buccaneers. Tampa Bay used him as more of a traditional running back during his first two seasons with the team, including a 2016 campaign where he ran for 560 yards. In 2018, the veteran found some of the pass-catching prowess that he had displayed during his early-career stint with the Falcons. Rodgers ultimately finished last season with 38 receptions, which was his highest total since 2013.
After losing Mark Ingram in free agency, the Saints have been looking for another running back to pair with Alvin Kamara. Latavius Murray should have the first crack at the job, but if he struggles, Rodgers could easily take on a bigger role (although he’s not necessarily a complement to Kamara). The Saints are also rostering Dwayne Washington, Devine Ozigbo, and Matt Dayes.
Kelley averaged 4.2 yards per carry as a rookie in 2016, but he hasn’t shown anything close to that since. The 26-year-old only suited up for two games with the Redskins last year thanks to a toe injury, and there’s always been some questions about his weight. Still, considering his age, it wouldn’t be shocking if Kelley found another NFL opportunity.