Saints announce signing of undrafted free agent, return specialist Deonte Harris
For the second time this offseason, the Saints have brought in a player to show they want to improve the return game.
The Saints officially announced on Tuesday the signing of undrafted free agent Deonte Harris, a receiver and return specialist who attended Assumption College.
The 5-foot-6, 170 pound Harris finished his career as one of the best returners in Division II football history.
He finished his career with 14 career return touchdowns, including a 100-yard kickoff return. He also holds the Division II single season record for return touchdowns with eight, set during his junior season. He averaged a whopping 32.6 yards on his 63 kickoff return and 20.4 yards on his 48 punt returns.
He is the Saints’ second special teams acquistion this offseason. The team signed return specialist Marcus Sherels, who spent eight seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, in March.
The Saints are looking to replace Tommylee Lewis, one of the team’s main returners from last season who signed with the Detroit Lions in March.
Lewis had the Saints’ longest punt return last season, a 17-yarder. Sherels proved to provide more than that, returning six punts for at least 20 yards this past season. That tied for second most in the league. He also averaged 17 yards on kickoff returns.
Now the Saints have added Harris into the mix.
As a receiver, Harris caught 226 passes for 2,897 yards and 28 touchdowns during his career at Assumption College, located in Massachusetts.
The Saints have now announced the signings of 10 undrafted free agents.
The other nine are: wide receiver Emmanuel Butler (Northern Arizona), linebacker Chase Hansen (Utah), guard Mike Herndon (Pittsburgh), defensive end Corbin Kaufusi (BYU); defensive back Darius Williams (Colorado State-Pueblo, defensive tackle Kenny Bigelow Jr. (West Virginia), running back Devine Ozigbo (Nebraska), tight end Jake Powell (Monmouth) and cornerback Jordan Wyatt (SMU).
Other players have reportedly signed with the Saints, but the team hasn’t officially announced those signings yet. That typically is just a matter of waiting for physicals to be completed.
The Saints will hold their rookie mini-camp Friday-Sunday.