The New Orleans Saints have signed a veteran linebacker who hasn’t appeared in a game since the 2008 season, and this was back when he played with the Seattle Seahawks. But Baraka Atkins did record 18 tackles and two sacks that season, and he did ink a futures contract back in 2011 with the Pittsburgh Steelers. That isn’t saying much, but it does show that perhaps Atkins can re-gain his footing in this league and push some people in OTAs and training camp. Mike Garafolo of the USA Today is reporting that Atkins is getting a deal following a tryout from the Saints during rookie minicamp.
This is significant because it tells us that not only is the 28-year-old Miami Hurricanes product back on the map, but also that Atkins played well enough during a tryout to warrant a contract. That means he has at least a fair shot at making the Saints 53-man roster, and that the Saints like enough of what they see from the veteran pass rusher.
Atkins signed deals with the Steelers, Dallas, Cowboys, and Denver Broncos at points during his career following his two seasons with the Seattle Seahawks, but he never played in any regular season games there. The Steelers signed him last year after working him out, so hopefully the former fourth-round choice can back up the tryout with the Saints. It’s either all-or-nothing for Atkins at this point, because there is no chance of the Saints putting a 28-year-old on the practice squad.
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