Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

15 Jan 2010

Saints Re-Sign Deuce McAllister

The Saints are apparently re-signing Deuce McAllister before this weekend's game against the Cardinals. Pierre Thomas is expected to play, so I don't really understand the move.

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 15 Jan 2010

16 comments, Last at 15 Jan 2010, 4:19pm by Margaret


by Adam B. :: Fri, 01/15/2010 - 1:46pm

This isn't a "so he can retire as a Saint before the game" move?

Also, how weird is it that the NFL even allows signings like this, occurring not only after "late in the season" but even during the playoffs? Why not sign Edgerrin James while you're at it?

I always remember being weirded out when the Eagles signed Chris Warren late in the 2000 season (after Staley was hurt again and Darnell Autry ... sucked), and he ended up starting two playoff games for us.

by dryheat :: Fri, 01/15/2010 - 1:55pm

Agreed. Given the rules allow for this, if I'm a guy like Corey Dillon or Rodney Harrison, I'd be a free agent all season long, keep in great shape, and sign with somebody in the playoffs every year and put in a month of work in exchange for a chance for a ring. It just seems weird. Although I expect this is just an attempt to get McAllister a ring without him actually having to play. Heck, they can put him on IR tomorrow, and if the Saints happen to win, he's in the record books as a Super Bowl champion.

Do you think Polian has Marvin Harrison on speed dial?

by Adam B. :: Fri, 01/15/2010 - 1:58pm

Not if he read the new GQ article which makes a solid case for Harrison's guilt in one attempted murder and in a successful conspiracy to complete that which the initial attempt couldn't.

by Todd S. :: Fri, 01/15/2010 - 2:44pm

It's "solid" only if you accept the premise that Nixon is a credible witness; the Philadelphia police and D.A.'s office did not.

by Phil Osopher :: Fri, 01/15/2010 - 2:02pm

Pretty much thought he was done. I mean he sucked when he retired, so what vlaue does he have to the team now? Sign him to the front office, as an "advisor", and win the SuperBowl. He should still get a ring, as I believe all execs get the ring as well

by Kyle Leboeuf (not verified) :: Fri, 01/15/2010 - 2:17pm

I think the Saints are intending to use him as a motivational factor for Dome fans. Deuce has long been a favorite amongst New Orleans and I don't think it being a year since he was released is going to change that.

by Misfit74 :: Fri, 01/15/2010 - 2:40pm

This could give Deuce a chance to get a Super Bowl ring. I can see signing him for that reason alone.

by Marko :: Fri, 01/15/2010 - 2:56pm

I presume the Saints won't have to pay him anything since players in the playoffs don't receive any salary; they just receive a playoff share, with the amount determined by how far the team advances. So if he didn't receive a signing bonus, he won't be paid anything directly from the Saints. Is this correct?

by mm (not verified) :: Fri, 01/15/2010 - 2:59pm

I believe the Colts gave Edgerrin James a ring even though he had left the franchise before the Super Bowl, so the Saints didn't have to do this to give him a ring, but its certainly nicer this way.

That said, If you're going to sign someone who will be inactive on game day, and you're not hurting for players to practice, why not sign the old favorite?

I'm not expecting him to be active (barring an unannounced injury), but I am surprised he didn't get any workouts with an NFL team this year. He didn't play great last year, but it was the year after a major surgery, so I thought he might have recovered enough speed to make a roster as a #2 or #3 back somewhere.

by Some_FF-Player_in_nawlins (not verified) :: Fri, 01/15/2010 - 3:36pm

A couple of comments:

1) Pierre thomas and Mike Bell have had significant injuries recently and Pierre's ribs haven't healed as well as everyone would like. It is expected that they will start, but also expected that at least one of them will get hurt and have to leave.

2) Pass Prtection has been a problem for the Saints recently. Deuce may not have run that well his last couple of seasons, but he was always good in his pass protection assignments. Markedly better than the backs that the Saints currently have.

3) Deuce rushed himself through rehab from his last major injury and was suffering as a result throughout all of last year. He has had time to thoroughly rest his knees, have some more minor work done, and rehab them further. His mobility should have improved from where it was last year. He's not going to be back at top form, and no one expects that. But, he knows the offense better than any street signing and has the ability to rally the fans, which is something that was needed at the Dallas game and overall with that three game loosing streak that they are on. I don't know a lot about how fans are in other cities, but, in New Orleans, its definitely a "faith" kind of thing. This one announcement has (I kid you not here) had people breaking down and crying on the sidewalk and jumping up and down screaming in waiting lines all over the city. Deuce's emotional impact on the greater fanbase here can not be overstated no matter how glowing the terms are that are used.

4) To make room for this on the roster, an injured DL player was put on IR. He was not progressing from his injury with any speed and was unlikely to come back in the next two weeks and wouldn't have been 100% for the SB, should the Saints have some sort of miracle and get there.

So, as a fan, I'm in support of this move. As a stats junkie, I also support this move. As a long time follower of the game that realizes how much a REALLY motivated crowd can push a team, I REALLY support this move. As active as Deuce has been in this community and with his heavy philanthropic influence around here, I'm very happy to see him get another chance to get out on the field in the post season.

by Margaret (not verified) :: Fri, 01/15/2010 - 4:02pm

I agree with you, and have a few comments on your comments.

Apart from insurance in the event of injury, Deuce also gives Payton a straight-up alternative to Bush (gah) or the man with the broken ribs when he's looking at short-yardage or goal-line situations. But I do think that blocking/pass protection is the key reason he was signed.

The suggestions that the Saints might be doing him a favor just so he can retire a Saint are amusing. Nor do I think the Saints or any professional team would use a valuable postseason roster spot on someone who they thought simply "deserved" a ring. They were fairly ruthless with McAllister last year (much to the chagrin of many, this fan included) and are not in a position to become sentimental now.

The fans, however, can be as sentimental as we want. And the roof will come off the Superdome if, and when, his name is called tomorrow. This was a good move.

by Adam B. :: Fri, 01/15/2010 - 4:10pm

PFT is now reporting this is basically ceremonial -- he'll lead the team on the field as a captain, but will be inactive for the game.

by Margaret (not verified) :: Fri, 01/15/2010 - 4:19pm

I am eating crow! The Times-Picayune (local paper) reports the same. It was strictly to pump up the team and fans. Wow.

by dryheat :: Fri, 01/15/2010 - 4:18pm

Yet I find it hard to believe that the best option for an emergency RB was a guy who hasn't practiced all year. I mean, aren't there better options out there if you needed a guy that badly to contribute?

by Mikey 2009 (not verified) :: Fri, 01/15/2010 - 4:05pm

Good comment nawlins. I was also going to make the point about Deuce being strong in pass pro.

Anybody who watched the Cowboys-Saints game knows the Saints must be nervous about matching Bushrod up opposite Ware or Jared Allen in the NFC Championship Game. Deuce is a high-quality safety net.

by Mikey 2009 (not verified) :: Fri, 01/15/2010 - 4:16pm

Aaaaand no sooner did I post this than nola.com also reports he will not be active.