New Orleans Saints 2012 Practice Squad then and now

I was just wasting time today (in a vain attempt of getting out of mowing grass) and started pondering on what happened to last years practice squad and came up with this little ditty and thought that I would share it with my like-minded fellow CSC'ers.

This was dated Sept. 1, 2012: New Orleans Saints Executive Vice President/General Manager Mickey Loomis announced today the team has signed the following players to their eight-man practice squad: DE Braylon Broughton, LB Ezra Butler, G Ricky Henry, G Harland Gunn, TE Michael Higgins, CB Nick Hixson, S Jerico Nelson and WR Andy Tanner.

Let's begin with:

Andy Tanner, 6-0, 183, originally signed with the Saints as an undrafted free agent out of Midwestern State in 2010. After spending most of the 2011 season on the Saints practice squad, Tanner enjoyed an impressive 2012 preseason before suffering an ankle injury, recording eight receptions for 120 yards (15.0 avg.) in the club’s first three preseason contests.

After spending the 2012 campaign on the practice squad, working with the scout team, as well as seeing action in the preseason, Tanner will compete for a roster spot this year as WR with 10 other wide receivers on the 90 man roster.

Next is Jerico Nelson, 5-10, 216, is a former Destrehan High School and John Curtis Christian High School standout who was signed as an undrafted free agent out of Arkansas. In the 2012 preseason, he posted six tackles and one special teams stop. As a four-year letterman with the Razorbacks, he played in 49 games and finished with 269 tackles, 27 for a loss, 10.5 sacks, four interceptions, nine passes defensed, two forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.

Jerico was placed on the active roster after the team placed Malcolm Jenkins and Charles Brown on injured reserve and appeared in the final three games of season for Saints and recorded no statistics. He will be competing for a roster spot this year as Safty with Jenkins, Leonhard and Rafael Bush.

Nick Hixson, 6-0, 189, was signed by New Orleans after the 2012 NFL Draft out of Hillsdale College. In the preseason, he posted two tackles and one pass defense. A three-year starter at Hillsdale, the Remus, Mich. native made 62 tackles (36 solo), two interceptions, a team-best nine pass defenses and one fumble recovery as a senior.

On Nov. 29, 2012 The Carolina Panthers signed Nick Hixson to their practice squad, replacing Frank Kearse who was added to the 53-man roster in the wake of Ron Edwards being put on season-ending injured reserve.

Mike Higgins, 6-5, 242, was originally signed as an undrafted free agent out of Nebraska-Omaha by the Saints in 2011. After spending the first three months of last season on the practice squad, he was promoted to the active roster, where he appeared in two games and had a four-yard reception. He also appeared in both postseason games and posted a ten-yard catch.

On Feb. 14, 2013 Mike was signed to a 1 year, $555,000 contract with the Saints and will be in the running for a Tight End position with Graham, Watson, Milton, and Josh Hill.

Harland Gunn, 6-2, 314, was signed by the Dallas Cowboys as a rookie free agent following the 2012 NFL Draft and was cut from their roster Aug. 31, 2012. N.O. signed him to the PS on Sept. 1.

On Nov. 20, 2012 the Atlanta Falcons signed OG Harland Gunn formerly of the Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints. He will add depth on the interior after C/G Joe Hawley was suspended for four games.

Ricky Henry, 6-4, 310, was signed by the Chicago Bears as an undrafted free agent out of Nebraska in 2011. After spending the first two and a half months on the Bears practice squad as a rookie, he was promoted to the active roster for the final six weeks of the regular season and appeared in one contest.

Ricky was signed to a 2 year, $1,020,000 contract on Dec. 15, 2012 with the Saints and will be in competition in the position of Guard with Evans, Olsen, Grubbs, Tiller, Lee, and Lelito.

Ezra Butler, 6-2, 248, originally joined New Orleans on their practice squad in the 2010 postseason, after originally coming into the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the San Francisco 49ers in 2008 out of the University of Nevada. After spending 2011 on injured reserve, Butler recorded seven tackles (three solo) for the Saints in the 2012 preseason. Butler, who also played for the United Football League’s Las Vegas Locomotives from 2009-10, led the Nevada Wolfpack with 92 tackles as a senior in 2007 and added 12.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, three interceptions for 18 yards, five pass defenses, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries

Ezra is listed as a Free Agent and is not listed on this year's 90 man team roster.

Braylon Broughton, 6-6, 272, joined New Orleans as a rookie free agent from Texas Christian after the 2012 NFL Draft. In the preseason, he recorded four tackles and one sack. The Dallas native was a three-year letterman for the Horned Frogs, appearing in 40 games with five starts. He finished his college career with 45 tackles (32 solo), 9.5 stops for a loss, three sacks, three passes defensed, two fumble recoveries and one blocked kick. As a senior in 2011, Broughton played in 13 contests with five starts and registered 25 tackles (12 solo), including a team-high six stops for a loss, along with two sacks and a blocked kick.

Braylon was waivered by the Saint in May and this was what happened to him on May 24, 2013. Defensive end Braylon Broughton’s tenure with the Detroit Lions didn’t last long. Broughton, whom the Lions claimed off waivers from the New Orleans Saints on Tuesday, failed his physical and was released Thursday.

So, there you have it my fellow CSC bloggies bloggers friends. Who do you think will make the eight, (possibly nine), man PS this year?

This FanPost was written by a reader and member of Canal Street Chronicles. It does not necessarily reflect the views of CSC and its staff or editors.

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