Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but the New Orleans Saints have re-signed Tommylee Lewis. The fifth-year wide receiver has had an on-again, off-again relationship with the team, but a recent spat of injuries and suspensions have brought him back to New Orleans yet again. Saints coach Sean Payton announced Lewis’ return in his post-training camp press conference on Friday, a day after Lewis tried out for the team as a free agent.
Expect Lewis to compete for a backup role to Deonte Harris, whose offseason DUI arrest could sideline him for a few weeks during the regular season. Lewis has appeared in the lineup sporadically over the years, primarily on special teams as a returner on punts and kickoffs, though he’s seen his share of gadget plays. Unfortunately, his most memorable moment in a Saints uniform would be no-selling the uncalled illegal hit he took in the 2018 NFC championship game. Hopefully brighter days are ahead for him.
Because the Saints had a few roster spots still available, they won’t have to release anyone just to make room for Lewis. It’s possible that further free agent tryouts or underwhelming practices prompt the team to shuffle the bottom of the depth chart, but for now Lewis’ addition brings them to 89 of 90 roster spots filled. They’ve got room for one more player with more than $11 million to burn.
Additionally, Payton said that both Wil Lutz and P.J. Williams passed their physicals and will begin practicing with the team after starting training camp on the non-football injury list. They only missed the first day, so New Orleans elected not to sign a new kicker in Lutz’s absence. Williams faces real competition at the dime spot in the secondary; he and veteran free agent pickup Brian Poole must outplay some younger teammates for snaps as the team’s sixth defensive back.